Ala Champ
 
00:00/

CENTRO PAOLO VI

A True Historical Sanctuary In Italy’s Brescia

HYTRA

Innovative Yet Unassuming; Athens' Best Fine Dining Experience

PERIANTH HOTEL

A Design Stay At The Forefront Of Contemporary Culture In The Heart Of Athens

ISTORIA

The Secluded Design Hotel & Luxury Destination In The South Of Santorini Island

ARTMONTE-CARLO

An Intimate Art Fair Affair in Monaco

EDITORS PICKS | SALONE DEL MILANO 2019

We Select The 5 Projects Not To Miss Ahead Of The Upcoming Design Week in Milan

Domaine Chandon

An "In-Depth Rejuvenation" & Contemporary Redesign For The Renowned Australian Winery

STONY ISLAND ARTS BANK

Conceived by Artist Theaster Gates, the Art Centre is a Pivotal Contribution to the City of Chicago

UNDER

Dining In Norway's Southern Coast Made Possible By Snøhetta

Reversible Destiny Lofts

The Vibrant Residences That Challenge Daily Perceptions Of Space & Movement, By Artist-Duo Arakawa & Gins

BLESS N°65 Not That I Can’t Wait For It

Constantly Challenging The Norm to Encourage New Perspectives

FUKURO

Down The Stairs, A Modern Japanese Izakaya In Central Hong Kong

LE CORBUSIER

The Great Swiss-French Architect's Studio-Apartment Has Been Restored And Is Now Open To The Public

SCHAULAGER

The Unassuming Contemporary Art Gallery Designed By Herzog & de Meuron

NORTON MUSEUM OF ART

Renovated by Foster + Partners, This West Palm Beach Art Institution Has Now Re-Opened Its Doors

The Chinati Foundation

The Contemporary Art Destination in Marfa Founded by Pioneering American Artist Donald Judd

TOM SACHS TEA CEREMONY

The American Contemporary Artist Reimagines The Japanese Way Of Tea

May, 2019
Shoburo (2012) © Tom Sachs | Image: Genevieve Hanson

Following a monumental presentation at the Noguchi Museum in New York in 2016 (celebrating the museum’s 30th anniversary) and two following additional shows in the US, American artist Tom Sachs brings his Tea Ceremony back to its Japanese origins at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.

Tom Sachs presents what is perhaps the most fascinating reinterpretation of traditional Japanese rituals and daily objects from both a contemporary artist’s perspective and an American point of view. Although Sachs’ work often reimagines the functionalism and existing preconceptions of an action or object, here he truly executes a deconstruction of the chanoyu (traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony) and it’s performative execution; exploring elements of wabi sabi to the practices’ origins from the early 9th century.

In Tea Ceremony, Sachs reinterprets the ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony, and the art of it’s performance (temae) creating a convergence of both Western and Asian worlds. Sachs presents his meticulously and immaculately-constructed DIY aesthetic, where everything perfectly works, as he reflects the do-it-yourself hand-crafted culture in a contemporary art context. Although tongue-in-cheek, Sachs’ response is respectfully-approached and professionally-constructed; perhaps as precisely as a Japanese traditional sukiya carpenter might have done. This is where Sachs contemporary art – that borders both fine art and pop art – really shines.

In the gallery we find a site-specific geodesic dome hosting the 2016 exhibition video accompanied by Sachs’ NASA audience chairs, followed a resin-coated plywood Japanese koi fish pond, a hand cleansing area that features a Purell hand sanitiser, to a traditional outdoor lantern created from plywood, cardboard featuring a plastic jar of crunchy peanut butter placed at the top.

In the purpose-built tatami-floored chashitsu room, Sachs recreates the structure not in its traditional timber but from cardboard and plywood painted in construction-like red and white stripes. Inside, an appropriated wall hanging (usually of tea master and founder Sen no Rikyū) is replaced by an image of American boxer Muhammad Ali. Where a handmade wagashi Japanese sweet and hand-whisked matcha green tea would be served, he presents a wheat cracker with peanut butter, or an Oreo, or a Yoga Pez dispenser. Furthermore, presenting the green tea whisked by a battery-motorised whisk fixated into the bamboo tea whisk. Both practical and curiously playful, one can’t help but ponder if Sach’s appropriation is a reflection on western differences; non-laborious culture, complacency, and subconscious influences of celebrity and branding.

Nevertheless, Sachs simply presents another way to view and execute established rituals in a new light. Look closely, whether for amusement or art, Sachs has reimagined the way you previously preconceived things.

Pam (2013) © Tom Sachs | Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Tadashi Ono
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
Chasen (2015) © Tom Sachs | Photo: Genevieve Hanson
Kabuto (2015) © Tom Sachs | Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
Ishidoro (2015) © Tom Sachs | Courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery
Tom Sachs © Mario Sorrenti

Tom Sachs
Tea Ceremony 

Tokyo Opera City Gallery
Tokyo, Japan

20 April – 23 June, 2019

——
Images courtesy; Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
Words; Joanna Kawecki

Tom Sachs, Tea Ceremony (2019) Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery © Photo: Tadashi Ono | Installation view
May, 2019