red hong yi opens her own spoof bank in kuala lumpur


‘memebank’ is an exhibition and parody project created by chinese-malaysian artist red hong yi that mocks how central banks across the world print money, potentially leading to inflation as warned by economists. inspired by how paper money was first made in china in the 7th century through printing plates, the artist and her team created their own banknotes through etched copper plates.

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images courtesy of red hong yi



the exhibition was launched on january 21, 2022, at art printing works (APW), a former commercial printing factory established in 1952 in kuala lumpur. the exhibition was entirely self-funded by the artist through the sale of the six giant copper plates in the form of NFTs through opensea in november 2021.


the space was turned into a spoof bank during the course of the exhibition: three ATM machines were installed on site, red carpets were laid out, a VIP area with food and snacks was prepared, and a team of spoof bankers was in charge of printing banknote artworks off etched copper plates. thousands of limited edition banknote artworks were suspended from the ceiling, encouraging people to gaze upwards in search of their desired banknotes.

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memebank highlights how everyday people that are affected by money-printing do not question the economics behind these actions and how it will affect them. the goal of the project is to provoke questioning of the current systems and to encourage a deeper awareness of financial literacy, education and cryptocurrency.


‘the rise of alternative investments such as crypto has in recent years challenged the current monetary system, as larger communities of everyday people realize the more efficient and transparent technology behind it, and people see it as a hedge against inflation,’ says joe, a former banker and memebank advisor.

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project info:


exhibition name: memebank
artist: red hong yi

venue: APW bangsar, kuala lumpur, malaysia

dates: january 21 – 23, 2022


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom