Coffee-mugs stains usually leave people shaking their fists and wondering why life is such a struggle. But Malaysian artist and architect Hong Yi’s sees potential where others see a mess, turning the circular stains into art with her java-themed portrait series.

According to the artist, who goes by the nickname Red, the large-scale images can take up to 12 hours to complete.


“Coffee is quite a challenging medium to use,” she says on her website. “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 to dry up before stamping on the darker rings, or else the rings would not be visible.”


Red doesn’t just make coffee art. She has also rendered Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei’s likeness out of sunflower seeds, made a hanging portrait of Jackie Chan out of chopsticks, and posted a brilliant Instagram series of food art called 31 Days of Food Creativity.

All photos via Hong Yi

[via Distractify]