Brazilian architect Estudio Guto Requena partnered with carpet manufacturer Tai Ping to create “Tea Hug,” a carpet bearing an abstract interpretation of a 19th century painting that depicts the first Chinese immigrants in Brazil. An illustration by German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858) depicting the Chinese tea cultivation in Rio de Janeiro, in the region of Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), was the starting point for the design.
In the design process, Guto used digital tools to transform the image’s color and composition into a new visual narrative. The first step was to make the image greyscale before pixelating it. The designers pinpointed the brightest points of the image that they then triangulated, creating a geometrical abstraction of the painting. A color scheme representative of the painting was selected and distributed using data from the melody of “Silk Road” from Yo-Yo Ma & Tan Dun, a traditional Chinese song about separation.
Meaning “Great Peace” in China, Tai Ping Carpets was established in 1956 as a handmade carpet company that specialized in custom-carpet designs.