It is an honour to be participating in the 17th Chawan Expo in Belgium, an international exhibition focusing on chawans, the Japanese teacups which are used for the Zen tea ceremony. The exhibition would be held at Abbey of Hemiksem from 12th to 20th Sep 2015.
The Japanese tea master, Sen no Rikyū (千利休, 1522 – 1591)’s dedication to the art of tea ceremonies deeply influenced the art of ceramics. Above all, it also addressed the heart of the tea drinkers. He said, ”Though you wipe your hands and brush off the dust and dirt from the vessels, what is the use of all this fuss if the heart is still impure?”
The aspect of the tea ceremony which I most admire, is the concept of ichigo, ichie (一期一会), which means “treasure every encounter, for it will never recur.” The ancient people already understood the necessity of being present, and treating each encounter of experience with utmost respect and sincerity.
As an artist, these spiritual aspects of the tea ceremony inspired me to create the accompanying vessels, which I hope will enhance these unique encounters.
Nothing is more beautiful than what is found in nature. I am filled with joy each time I immerse myself in God’s wondrous creation, which in turn inspires me to express this sense of wonder through my creations.
For me, tea drinking always brings my mind to a place of calmness and freedom; and I see the chawan as a portal to take us on this inner journey – of walking in misty mountains shrouded in snow; or sitting by the river with its cool waters refreshing our souls; or just a peaceful, quiet stroll through the woods as winter turns into spring.
As a potter, I am grateful for every opportunity to hold those pieces of clay in my hands – formless still but each filled with potential – and lovingly mold them into something beautiful and unique, just as God formed us all out of the dust of this Earth.
沒有什麼東西比大自然更美麗。每當我沉浸在上帝的奇妙創造 中，我內心充滿了喜樂。它激發我的靈感讓我在自己的創作中 期待表達這種神奇感。 對我而言，喝茶總是帶給我心靈上的平靜和自由，而茶碗就像 是通往心靈旅程的一扇門 — 經由它我們可以彷彿行走在覆蓋 著白雪、雲霧籠罩的山裡；坐在河邊讓清涼的河水洗淨我們的 靈魂；或靜靜地漫步在初春的樹林中。 身為一名陶藝家，我感恩每一個握著陶泥塊的機會，因為尚未 成形的土塊充滿了潛力，而我能珍愛地將他們塑造成美麗又獨 特的東西，就像上帝用大地的塵埃塑造了我們一樣。
To quote from The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura,
“In art the present is the eternal. The tea-masters held that real appreciation of art is only possible to those who make of it a living influence. Thus they sought to regulate their daily life by the high standard of refinement which obtained in the tea-room. In all circumstances serenity of mind should be maintained, and conversation should be conducted as never to mar the harmony of the surroundings. The cut and color of the dress, the poise of the body, and the manner of walking could all be made expressions of artistic personality. These were matters not to be lightly ignored, for until one has made himself beautiful he has no right to approach beauty. Thus the tea-master strove to be something more than the artist,—art itself. It was the Zen of aestheticism. Perfection is everywhere if we only choose to recognise it.”
Sen no Rikyū loved to quote an old poem which says: “To those who long only for flowers, fain would I show the full-blown spring which abides in the toiling buds of snow-covered hills.”