Redefining Coffee Waste as Art
It is fascinating how the versatility of coffee extends far beyond its function as a morning pick-me-up. It emerges as a powerful tool for artistic expression, serving as both inspiration and medium.
Ghidaq Al-Nizar is an Indonesian artist whose canvas is the remnants of his morning brews, and whose passion for coffee goes beyond mere consumption. Embracing the ethos of sustainability and creativity, He coined the term Zero Waste Coffee or Seni Ampas Kopi to encapsulate his dedication to ensuring that no element of his beloved beverage goes to waste.
Ghidaq's journey began by crafting designs on cappuccinos, which gradually evolved into repurposing diverse coffee elements to create elaborate artworks starting in June 2008. For Ghidaq, coffee isn't merely a medium; it's a companion in his artistic journey. "I am in a full-blown relationship with coffee. I am a loner, but with my coffee art, I’m not feeling lonely anymore," he shared candidly in an interview with 60 Seconds Doc.
His creative process involves enjoying the coffee-making process, savouring the brew, then using the accumulated coffee waste to create evocative scenes that blend the mundane with the profound. He enjoys experimenting and combining coffee grounds and stains with leaves, fingerprints, and other diverse elements to add complexity to his creations.
“Not only exploring its stains, my coffee painting technique also pushes the ability of the coffee beans to some extent,” explains Ghidaq. For example, Ghidaq's artwork, Gæa (left) and Gael (right) is crafted solely from Ethiopian coffee grounds and stains. This piece demonstrates a spectrum of colours achieved through the artist's unique extraction method.
Ghidaq’s philosophy links coffee with elements of human life, symbolizing the unity of humanity and nature. “To me, coffee symbolizes life itself,” he says.
Ghidaq Al-Nizar's artwork, The Two Stags Under Shooting Stars, encapsulates intimate narratives using dried leaves as unconventional canvases. He utilizes the emotionality of earthy materials to create a tangible portrayal of heartfelt connections and cherished memories of a couple’s time living together.
Ghidaq crafted Beirut Blast: The Burned Hand as a tribute to the aftermath of the devastating Beirut explosion. This artwork honours the lives lost and the countless individuals grappling to restore shattered homes. The powerful imagery resonates with the profound resilience and ongoing struggle to rebuild what was once home amidst the aftermath of tragedy.
Now, Ghidaq actively shares his knowledge and inspiration through "Zero Waste Coffee Kids," a workshop aimed at nurturing the creative minds of children and young individuals. Through this initiative, he aims to foster creativity, empowering the next generation to think innovatively while instilling confidence through the medium of art.
Artist Ghidaq Al-Nizar's innovative spirit and commitment to sustainability demonstrate that creativity knows no bounds—even in the remnants of a morning cup of coffee. Through his art, he transforms waste into beauty and purpose, enriching the world one coffee-stained masterpiece at a time.