Tea – Mind
a close viewing photography experience
Robert van Koesveld & Takako Morita
April 12 - April 29 closed April 17, 22, 23, 24
10:30-18:00 (20:00 on Fri, Sat, Sun)
121 Higashisawaragicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
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As a child of a Kyoto tea family, Takako often watched the tea world through a crack in the tea room’s fusuma (‘paper screen door’). She noticed how the atmosphere changed each time. Robert’s experience as a recurrent outsider to this tea world is similar. As tea master and as photographer, each observes light and shadow, sound and temperature; mixing with the unique sensibility of guests and host… all within the space and rules of Tea.
This experiential work parallels that of haiken 拝見 – the ‘close viewing’ that follows drinking a bowl of tea. Objects in the tea room are seen as friends, touched by time and the respectful hands and warm gaze of many viewers. It also raises the broader question of how we look and see in a visually congested modern world. Photography is the core of this work.
The tea room and the stage are evoked by the five different spaces in our venue. Guests are invited to sit, – alone or with a friend – and quietly engage with the images that are initially presented in a tomobako (共箱‘closed box’).
An Australian photographer / psychotherapist, Robert van Koesveld’s exhibition work focuses on the qualities of presence, timelessness and the liminal world located between past and present; personal and archetypal; day-to-day and sacred.
A fourth-generation Japanese tea master, Takako Morita aims to share the love of the tea world with those who have no previous exposure to tea ceremony. Transmission in the tea world is essentially a non-verbal experience, drawing on all five senses. This is the first time she has worked as an artist. She is exploring alternative ways of touching the ‘Tea mind ’that is already present or latent in others.