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Tea Room

Inspired by Okakura Kakuzo's book The Book of Tea and Lu Yu's The Classic of Tea, my multidisciplinary project aims to create an open space to investigate tea's associations with global culture, history, philosophy, and identity politics.

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Artist Statement

4000 years ago, high in the mountains of Yunnan, China, a tea tree was waiting to be found by humans. Tea originated as a type of medicine. Tea reached its height during the Tang Dynasty in ancient China and evolved into a set of aesthetics and philosophy. The ancient Chinese monograph The Classic of Tea encapsulates the traditional tea ceremony, in addition to its diverse shapes and substances: bricks, cakes, leaves, and powders. 

 

“Humanity has met in a teacup.” As illustrated in The Book of Tea, a nonfiction written by the Japanese author Okakura Kakuzo, the little tea leaf has traveled across continents and interconnected geographically distant regions, and used humans to spread its messages. Today, tea has developed into the beverage we are familiar with today such as black tea, oolong, and even bubble tea. While tea has become ever-universal and globalized, one cannot ignore the history of tea associated with colonialism and identity politics. 

 

Weaving a variety of mediums together, not limited to sound, video, installation, performance, poetry, and graphic design, I strive to capture the multi-sensory, healing experience of tea-drinking. I collect stories as if they were individual tea leaves and blend them into a tea podcast / documentary. This interdisciplinary project also extends into a combination of tea ceremony, immersive sonic meditation, and ambient performance. As a tea enthusiast, I navigate personal identities from an ethnic minority to a global citizen and search for meaningful intercultural dialogues through the acquaintance of tea. 

Tea Pickers
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