Book launch

Tuesday 25 July 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm

The Teabowl: East and West

13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent's Park), London NW1 4QP

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

By Dr Bonnie Kemske

Published by Bloomsbury (Hardbound)

In this talk, Dr Bonnie Kemske, author of the new book The Teabowl: East & West, looks at the context of the teabowl as it arose in chanoyu, or Japanese tea ceremony, and the changes it has undergone through the centuries.

Images of famous teabowl styles, such as Raku and Oribe, are shown with discussion about the production techniques employed and the cultural settings in which such legendary teabowls were created. Moving forward to the twentieth century, when this iconic ceramic form travelled from Japan to Europe and the Americas, Dr Kemske explores the effects of taking the teabowl out of its chanoyu context. She will also consider the losses and gains made when contemporary studio ceramicists appropriated the form, both inside and outside Japan. She articulates the present-day potter’s love of the form, and asks the question, ‘Are contemporary teabowls still teabowls?’, suggesting that many of these new, non-traditional teabowls still carry a sense of the totemic nature of the form, the veneration in which it is held, and the many layers of meaning it conveys.

The hardbound edition of The Teabowl: East and West was available for £35 at this event.

About the contributors

Dr Bonnie Kemske

Dr Bonnie Kemske is a ceramic artist, writer, and student of Urasenke chanoyu, which she began to study in Kyoto. She holds a PhD in ceramics from the Royal College of Art, London, was editor of the international magazine Ceramic Review, and has published many academic papers, feature articles, and reviews. In 2013 she curated an exhibition of contemporary teabowls at the Embassy of Japan in London, and she is currently co-curating a more general exhibition of teabowls that aims to instruct the public about the teabowl’s specific chanoyu context. More information is available at

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