21 July–22 August 2017
Admission free, Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm
From the cultured court of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshima in the eastern hills or “Higashiyama” above Kyoto, in 15th century Japan, sprung the unique fusion of art and everyday life, beauty in simplicity, embodied in the tea house. In this exhibition, several famous Kyoto tea houses such as Tai-an and Shoko-ken were introduced through photographs, architectural diagrams and other forms, with the aim of conveying an understanding of key concepts such as wabi-sabi and to give the viewer a feel for the Zen-influenced culture surrounding the Kyoto tea house.
The ‘Kian’ teahouse, designed and built by Masayuki Inaida, Yamanaka Construction Office, was on display during the Private View; a simple bamboo construction which through its incompleteness demonstrates the beauty and philosopy underlying the Kyoto tea house.
The exhibition also highlighted the history of the renowned Uji tea growing region south of Kyoto.
The unique opening party incorporated a calligraphy demonstration by Japan’s leading calligrapher and performance artist Tomoko Kawao, who travelled to London from Kyoto especially for the occasion. Kawao’s work were then displayed as part of the exhibition.
This exhibition was curated by Spin180, and it was made possible with the kind assistance of Kyoto Prefectural Authority and Daitokuji-Daiji-in Temple.
About the contributors
Spin180 is an Amsterdam-based company which promotes cultural links between Japan, the UK and Europe. Our last exhibition, closing in April, was a history of Osaka trains at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum. Our next exhibition will be on the life and works of Sakubei Yamamoto, a coal-miner painter granted UNESCO Memory of the World registration and will be on at the National Coal Mining Museum for England from September, 2017.