Estudio Guto Requena partnered with luxury carpet manufacturer Tai Ping to create, Tea Hug, a carpet designed through a process that combines memory, music, and traditional Chinese manufacturing with new digital technologies. A painting became the starting point, and with the help of digital tools, the rug was designed using data from the melody of a traditional Chinese song about separation.

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Research on the connection between China and Brazil led to the discovery of a painting that depicts the first Chinese immigrants. In 1812, they came from Macau to Rio de Janeiro to introduce the cultivation of green tea to Brazil.

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The results of the process show a contemporary visual narrative that reflects a part of China’s and Brazil’s history.

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An illustration by German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858) that depicted the Chinese tea cultivation in Rio de Janeiro, in the region of Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), was the inspiration.

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First, they turned the color image into a grayscale image.

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The grayscale image was then pixelated.

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They then limited the grayscale gradient to just five shades.

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The brightest shade was isolated.

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Points were triangulated so that no point would be inside the circumference of any of the triangles.

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The result is a geometrical abstraction of the painting.

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The original composition and the abstraction overlay to show how they’re related.

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They created a color scheme by selecting five colors from the painting.

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The colors were then filled in by using data of the melody of a traditional Chinese song that is about separation – ‘Silk Road’ from Yo-Yo Ma and Tan Dun.