Coffee Stain Portrait
Designed by Hong Yi (Oh I see Red).
This project was inspired by the opening and closing lines in Jay Chou's song, Secret. The opening line is about lifting a coffee cup off the saucer. The ending line of the song is about autumn leaves and fragmented pieces. Hundreds of individual coffee stain rings, many of them broken and imperfect like fallen autumn leaves, form a whole portrait. The singer tells a heartbreak tale of a lost romance with a girl from 1979 who time-traveled forward 20 years and met Jay in 1999, and they fell in love. She then went back to 1979 and sketched a portrait of him. "My painting is meant to look like a sepia-toned old photograph to capture the essence of this story. The project took about 12 hours to finish. Coffee is quite a challenging medium to use - too little water and the rings wouldn't form easily, too much water and the rings would blend into each other, resulting in just a deformed pool of coffee. I had to also wait for the lighter parts too dry up before stamping on the darker rings, or else the rings would not be visible."