Data + Design Project

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Stain Portraits

Saturday 02.25.2012 , Posted by
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When I watch the amazing YouTube video of artist and architect Hong Yi, who goes by the nickname “Red”, creating a giant portrait with coffee, I feel humbled. This woman possesses a unique and startling talent. To see Red’s focus as she carefully places the mug dipped in coffee space by space, ring by ring on the paper is astounding. I can see in her eyes that she is spatially picturing what the whole of her creation will look like, as she completes it bit by bit. In elapsed time (the project actually took Red a painstaking 12 hours to complete), before our eyes, the face of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou appears using nothing but a mug and some coffee as a medium. She says of her works:

I love to create art…with…whatever I can get hold of – rocks, ketchup, milk, salt, shirts – and turn them into art. It’s more fun that way!

Yes, I imagine that it is more fun, AND it is completely mind-boggling, as well! I am sure I could have “fun” painting with “milk” or coffee, but it would just look like what it was – spilled milk and coffee(!); not art! My hat’s off to this incredibly talented young woman. Thank you for gifting us with the fruits of your astonishing abilities!

See Also Ameliorating Art with Wine Stains

You can see more of Red’s art on her website, keep up-to-date on her accomplishments through her Facebook and Twitter pages, and watch the impressive process of the creation of her art in her videos on her YouTube channel.

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Paul Caridad

Written by Paul Caridad



Bicycled the perimeter of USA, hitch hiked across the States dressed as monk. Nomadic for the next few years. Would love to connect, so check out my links below! email: soloride@gmail.com

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