A Geometric Rug Created From A Painting
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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.


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.


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


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.


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


The grayscale image was then pixelated.


They then limited the grayscale gradient to just five shades.


The brightest shade was isolated.


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


The result is a geometrical abstraction of the painting.


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


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


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.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.