What is a teabowl? How did it become an iconic ceramic art form? A millennium ago in China, Zen Buddhist monks drank green tea from bowls with brown and black glazes. Later, in Korea and Japan, potters crafted teabowls of increasingly diverse designs, often intentionally asymmetrical. Treasured teabowls, if broken, were repaired with lacquer and gold. Ritual etiquette dictated the ways in which teabowls have been used to prepare and serve tea in East Asia. Today, around the world, people invent personal tea ceremonies. Contemporary artists create teabowls with a range of motivations, from channeling the classics to breaking new ground in forms and processes. Tracing the teabowl’s path in Asia and beyond, this exhibition features over one hundred teabowls and related objects from the tenth through the twenty-first century.
Guest curated by Meghen Jones, Associate Professor of Art History, Alfred University