This work, made for my MA final show, is influenced by Japanese arts and culture, in particular the tea ceremony (chado). In the same way as students of chado I have researched both the ceremony and its utensils along with its history, philosophy and aesthetics, which come together as a ‘cultural synthesis’ or shogo bunka.
In these still life pieces I have interpreted the vessels used in chado, the tea bowl, kettle, tea caddy and fresh and waste water containers, using hand blown and engraved glass rather than the traditional materials of ceramic, lacquer and metal. In doing so I have created ‘Atarashii Chado’ – a New Way of Tea – which contrasts Japan’s traditional arts with my own experience of modern Japan.
Each series of vessels represents a different area of Tokyo to evoke different areas of the city: the tranquil park of Ueno, the sleek modernity of Ginza, the neon lights of Shinjuku, the Shinto traditions of Meiji Jingu, and the combination of tradition and commercialism of Asakusa. These pieces come together as a personal synthesis of aspects of both traditional and modern Japanese culture.