When temperatures fall and the wind picks up, a moment of mild weather and sense of warmth can bring people together. For this holiday season, Starbucks transformed the fourth floor of the Starbucks Reserve bar and store on Zhongshan San Lu into an invigorating public art space. Ushering in a special winter gift, Starbucks joint rural education public welfare institution, called Be the Light, is holding the Weiwen Poetry Exhibition. The poems come from a group of children in a rural school who use rustic language to create moving poetry that Starbucks baristas then turn into warm and beautiful paintings. Everyone can experience this form of art in a venue filled with a rich coffee aroma.
Starbucks is far more than a coffee brand – also connecting underprivileged children with the world by showcasing their talent in poetry at a public art space.
The exhibition, which will run until January 4, was made in collaboration with Be the Light, which focuses on cultivating young and aspiring poets. Founder Kang Yu is a young woman who has dedicated her life to teaching children poetry in rural mountain villages. “I hope these children can see the light in their hands even if they can’t leave their homes in the mountains,” she said.
Twenty-four paintings and photographs are currently on display, inspired by short poems written by children from the countryside. The inspiring words made quite the impression on Starbucks baristas, who turned the poems into paintings to describe the world in the eyes of each young poet. On the side of each painting we can also see the original poem, with a few crooked words – it’s a truly authentic expression of art. Imagine children working at their desk, with pencil in hand, writing “I believe in the night, because it can cover everything, just like love,” giving ‘night’ the power to warm the hearts of others. A short poem makes Starbucks baristas feel that same warmth, creating a number of passionate paintings.
“The poems are very short, but the number of poems in the world is very large. It’s incredible that we can see the same poem presented by different artists become completely different works. This is what poetry is all about, adding that element of warmth,” said Miss Yu, a customer who came to visit the exhibition.
Starbucks not only shares poetry, conveying a sense of warmth, but also compiles readers’ messages into a ‘weiwen notebook’ to give back to the little poets. Connecting each other with a cup of coffee is Starbucks long-standing service philosophy, and this cup of coffee not only conveys the fragrance of that moment, but also a long ‘light temperature.’
Weiwen Poetry Exhibition will run until January 4, and is free to visit.
See listing for Starbucks Zhongshan San Lu.
[All images via Starbucks]