Tea and Art

In my last post, I talked about revisiting the UK. One of the things I decided to do was get my tourist hat on, take trips down memory lane in London, and in one of my trips, I came across this:

Tea Building Tea Sign
Tea Building Tea Sign

The typeface of the letters against the backdrop of a blue sky made me smile when I walked past.  The Tea Building, according to their website, is a centre for the media and creative industry based in East London.  I also loved their bill board:

Shoreditch High Street Tea Bill Board
Shoreditch High Street Tea Bill Board

I think we can all agree that we need tea 🙂

So, from tea and art in the street, I made a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum to discover tea and art indoors. There are collections of art from Korea, Japan, and India, and naturally, as a tea enthusiast, I was drawn to the tea ware. When I went to the China room, I was amazed at the vibrancy of the colours. Two pieces really captured my heart.

Victoria & Albert Gaiwan
Victoria & Albert Gaiwan

This gorgeous Gaiwan shown above was made in the 1800’s in the Qing Dynasty.  The detail on this porcelain beauty is absolutely divine!  I especially liked the hole in the leaf which reminded me of the work of a Jacid ‘leaf hopper’ which bites on an oolong leaf to promote oxidation, but maybe that’s my imagination running wild, I don’t know. 

The beau-tea-ful teapot shown below was made in the 1600s. The bamboo detail, especially on the spout and the handle, was stunning.

Victoria & Albert Bamboo Teapot
Victoria & Albert Bamboo Teapot

On we go, from the history of Chinese tea ware to a 20th century movement.  Postmoderism according to Wikipedia is a reaction to the modernism movement.  It was a movement that was rebellious, a critique, and controversial.  The exhibition featured architecture, art, fashion, design and music from 1970-1990 and as a movement; the teapots were wacky, silly, colourful and brought a smile to my face.

Postmodern Teapots
Postmodern Teapots

The picture at right shows two of my favourite teapots. Aren’t the colours so vibrant and the design just zany?

Modernism is about design which should derive directly from its purpose, and this last teapot shown below captures the true essence of postmodernism, which argues that form doesn’t have to follow function; it can just be fun. Do you have a teapot in your collection that is both functional and fun?

A Disney inspired design shown below:

Fun and possibly functional Postmodern Teapot (click on image to see it larger)
Fun and possibly functional Postmodern Teapot

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “Tea and Art

  1. Pingback: A Year of Great Blog Articles « Tea Blog

  2. Pingback: Tea and Art « MayKingTea's Blog

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