Drink coasters morph into portraits of pain to tackle domestic violence in Japan
Despite its reputation as one of the safest countries in the world, Japan isn't immune to the problem of violence towards women. And is so often the case, alcohol is often involved. In an effort to raise awareness and force a shift in the attitudes of boozy bar hounds, the Yaocho Bar Group nightspot chain has designed a series of coasters with portraits of Japanese women that reveal facial injuries in reaction to having cold drinks placed on them.
Dubbed The Violent Coasters, the bar accessories were developed as part of social campaign to promote responsible drinking. To start out, the coasters feature a head-and-shoulders shot of unblemished fames of Japanese women. But these portraits are printed with thermochemical ink, and as the temperature of the coaster drops by sitting underneath a cool drink, a chemical reaction changes the color of the women's faces.
This starts with bruises and cuts, before finally revealing the message "don't let excessive drinking end in domestic violence," intended as an in-your-face reminder that overindulging can have terrible consequences.
This isn't the first time the Yaocho Bar Group has initiated an awareness campaign aimed at unsafe drinking. Last year it sought to address the large numbers of drunken people sleeping in Tokyo's streets by turning them into human billboards. By creating duct tape borders around them, placing slogans and hashtags inside and then sharing the images, the campaign was intended to shame people into more responsible drinking.
You can see The Violent Coasters take shape in the video below.