Tea – Mind

a close viewing photography experience

Robert van Koesveld & Takako Morita


Exhibition Information
April 12 - April 29  closed April 17, 22, 23, 24

10:30-18:00 (20:00 on Fri, Sat, Sun)

Bonjour! 現代文明 

京都市中京区新烏丸通竹屋町上る東椹木町 121

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. 

Our intention is that the private experience of holding, viewing and arranging the photographs, enables a ‘conversation’ between the images and also a connection with the viewer’s mind and heart

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’). 

Artists Statement 

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. 

In this collaborative work we are exploring a way of looking that invites the guest’s own psychological associations, personal connections and emotional responses to the images

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.