You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘tea and art’ tag.

My mission is to ensure that everybody has a better cup of tea in their cupboard, and what better way to raise awareness about good tea than through tea and art? I was invited by the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) to take part in an exhibition commissioned by world renowned artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Cai was born in the Fujian province of China which is home to some of the most respected tea in the world. Cai is best known for using gunpowder as his medium for his art, and was Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Yep: the fabulous fireworks at the Olympics were his work! Inspired by a visit to Queensland, Cai created an exhibition to encourage us to reconnect with nature. The final part of the Falling Back to Earth exhibition involved a Tea Pavilion: a space created for art lovers to sit with family and friends to reflect on the exhibition they have just witnessed and what better way to reflect in amongst the Eucalyptus tree (the third part of the exhibition), than with a sip of tea.

The tea Cai wanted to have served in his Tea Pavilion was Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Compassion). It is an oolong tea which I love because it is the embodiment of Yin Yang. Whilst it looks delicate, it tastes quite robust in flavour, and I was ever so pleased when Cai suggested this tea to be served because I felt that with most folk who have been brought up on milk and two sugars tea, that this would be a great tea to introduce them to, to help them explore other teas in the future.

From Left: Cai’s Interpreter, Cai Quo-Qiang, May King Tsang and Russell Storer, curator of QAGOMA, speaking at the Opening Weekend of Falling Back to Earth (Photographer: Brodie Standen, Image Courtesy: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art)

From Left: Cai’s Interpreter, Cai Quo-Qiang, May King Tsang and Russell Storer, curator of QAGOMA, speaking at the Opening Weekend of Falling Back to Earth (Photographer: Brodie Standen, Image Courtesy: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art)

Cai wanted someone to perform Chinese Gong Fu Tea Ceremony, and that was when QAGOMA found me via Google. The Gong Fu tea ceremony I perform is my own interpretation. Whereas most Tea Masters in China conduct the ceremony in silence, I prefer to explain each and every step that I take in order to help Westerners understand why we do what we do during the ceremony. As a BBC (British Born Chinese), I feel I am qualified to be able to bridge the gap between the two cultures.

Cold Brew Tie Guan Yin (Photographer: Brodie Standen, Image Courtesy: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art)

Cold Brew Tie Guan Yin (Photographer: Brodie Standen, Image Courtesy: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art)

As a Brit and being Chinese I am used to sipping hot beverages in order to cool me down; however, being mindful of the sunny climes of Queensland, I suggested to QAGOMA that we also provide cold brewed tea (sometimes referred to as cold pressed or cold fusion tea).  The tea was available throughout the day for art lovers to experience and during my Gong Fu Tea Ceremonies, I explained the steps to “mayking” homemade cold brew as a cheaper and healthier alternative to buying ready-made sugar loaded iced tea.

A press release was issued after the exhibition had closed to say that more than 200,000 people had seen Falling Back to Earth and up to 70,000 cups of cold pressed Tie Guan Yin tea was served and with my Gong Fu Ceremonies every Sunday for a couple of hours, I guesTEAmate that around 3500 cups of Tie Guan Tin Oolong was served.  My mission to have a better cup of tea in everybody’s cupboard started in 2009 and continues to this day.  Being part of a live art exhibition helped me to get closer to achieving my mission and together with the English Tea Store, we will get there: cup by cup.

See more of May King Tsang’s articles here.

© 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.

Advertisements

I don’t know about art, as the old saying goes, but I know what I like. That would be tea. So I guess it’s not surprising, given how ubiquitous tea is in some cultures, that there are artists who have sought to portray it in one way or another. That’s not to be confused, of course, with artists who actually use tea as their medium. More about that in these articles previously published at this very web site.

I can’t begin to gather together all of the works by artists who have taken tea as their subject, but I ran across a few noteworthy examples. Some are rather well known names, even to a relative art novice such as yours truly. Others I don’t recognize, but perhaps you will.

We probably all know of the French painter Henri Matisse. His 1919 painting – simply titled Tea – features two woman enjoying tea in a pleasant shaded garden setting with a dog relaxing nearby – which kind of makes you wish you could be there.

Though Mary Cassatt spent much of her time in France she was an American by birth (and like yours truly, a native Pennsylvanian). She tackled the topic of tea a number of times, including Lady at the Tea Table and The Cup of Tea, both of which portray a rather proper lady taking tea, while The Tea portrays a pair of tea drinkers.

I don’t really know much about the French artist James Tissot, but he also takes on the subject of proper tea drinking ladies – or a lady, in this case – in this strikingly realistic looking work. There’s also William McGregor Paxton, another American, who also tackles the apparently popular subject of ladies taking tea.

Which are all very nice and quite well done, but rather similar in tone. If you’re looking for something a little different from the aforementioned there are some options. I’m sure there are many representations of tea drinking and culture in Chinese, Japanese and other Asian art traditions but for now one will have to suffice – Brewing Tea in a Snow-Covered Hut, by Tani Bunchō. For a decidedly more abstract take on tea try The Tea Cup, by Jackson Pollock, where the subject of the painting is somewhat akin to Waldo in the Where’s Waldo drawings.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© 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.

Categories

Explore our content:

Find us on these sites:


Follow Us!     Like Us!     Follow Us!     Follow Us!     Plus 1 Us!
Follow Tea Blog on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tweet This!    add to del.icio.us    add to furl    digg this    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit     post to facebook    technorati faves

Copyright Notice:

© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog Affiliates

blogged
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory

Networked Blogs

%d bloggers like this: