Tsong Commissioned for Kona Festival Art

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The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival may be more than half-a-year away but the planning is well underway. In fact, the planning process may have never stopped.

In efforts to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Kona Coffee Cultural festival, the oldest food festival in Hawai’i, officials decided to commission the official art piece for the 2015 event.

Critically acclaimed artist and Kona resident Jing Jing Tsong worked on the official art piece of the 2015 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival that will run from Nov. 6 through Nov. 15.

Using traditional printmaking, digital techniques, and vibrant use of color, pattern and texture, Tsong created a new textile-based coffee art piece.


Tsong’s work will be displayed prominently throughout the festival, including on official festival merchandise, the festival button, event poster, magazine, and variety of other retail merchandise.

2015 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Artwork.

2015 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Artwork.

Festival officials say they are honored to have a Big Island artist showcase their artwork year-after-year, noting that Tsong’s art inspiration for the piece was Mount Hualalai.

“I think many of us who spend a lot of time in the ocean are very familiar with this view of Hualalai. It made sense to me to feature Hualalai since much of Kona coffee is grown on the western slope. Kona coffee is very special for many reasons, but I focused on the terroir because it is so unique,” said Tsong.


Drawn by hand, the piece underwent traditional print making techniques that include stenciling and block printing. The final product was collaged and color was applied through a digital process, with the inclusion of multiple layers of texture and color to bring out the richness in the piece.

“Every year we are thankful for the art community’s contribution to the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Jing Jing Tsong is distinguished in her field and we are so honored to have her join our long list of contributing artists,” said Mel Morimoto, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival President.

The commissioned Kona Coffee Festival piece is not the first accomplishment of critically acclaimed Tsong. Her images have been featured in national and international design magazines, including Graphics and Communication Arts. In addition, she has had illustrations appear in the New York Times best-selling children’s picture book, “A Bucket of Blessings” by Kabir Seghal and Surishtha Seghal. Two United States Postal Service forever stamps have also displayed the work of Tsong in the “2014 Winter Fun” series. She is also a 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival artist.


In addition to her many artistic roles, Tsong is a mother, musician, and surfer. She lives in Kona with her husband.

Known as Hawai’i’s oldest food festival, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival combines a modern-day infatuation with coffee with Kona’s old-world history. Visitors and residents, artisans and farmers all gather together to celebrate the unique Hawai’i coffee each year.

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