Magic of the Tea Bowl : A Survey of 11 Contemporary Ippodo Gallery Artists

There is no other form of art that possesses such a close, physical sensitivity or arouses such a rich emotion. As you focus your feelings within the tea bowl, time is forgotten, and it is in the ensuing silence where the cosmos seems to spread out from within your hands. 

The Japanese tea ceremony was first established during the 16th century and has continued to flourish to the present day. Closely related to Zen philosophy, it has held a central place in Japanese art, culture and soul. Known as Chawan, tea bowls are handed from the tea master, who prepares the tea, to the guests, transmitting the scent and warmth of the tea through the hands to the lip. There is no other form of art that possesses such a close, physical sensitivity or arouses such a rich emotion. As you focus your feelings within the tea bowl, time is forgotten, and it is in the ensuing silence where the cosmos seems to spread out from within your hands. Your heart and body shaken with an indescribable pulse. It is as if you are being enchanted. 

Numerous people participate in the tea ceremony at the same time and place, sharing tea from the same bowl, but this has become impossible due to the current circumstances. As a result, it has heightened our appreciation of the essence of the tea ceremony, which is summed up in the phrase, ‘Ichigo Ichie' (Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur) and it has never felt as important as it is now.

Ippodo Gallery has been collecting tea bowls by various potters since last winter. Each tea bowl is imbued with feelings and emotions of the potters as they work with the clay. For this exhibition we have selected eleven potters who we believe stand at the forefront of the field of contemporary Japanese ceramics. At a time when people are unable to meet freely, these tea bowls will insinuate themselves into our hearts and link us all together. Tea bowls serve to drive away loneliness and create a new language. Filled with over one hundred tea bowls that shine like the stars in the sky, the gallery takes on the appearance of the Milky Way. We hope that you will be able to come and discover the magic tea bowl that will become irreplaceable to you.

 

 Shoko Aono