In Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony the artist follows the way of Tea -in order, as Isamu Noguchi put it, to pursue the “true development of an old tradition”- Sachs has produced a complete, alternative material culture, from bowls and ladles, scroll paintings, vases, and bronzes, to a motorized tea whisk, a shot clock, and an electronic brazier. Any question one may have about the sincerity of Sachs’s obsession with Tea is answered by objects such as Lobster, a perfectly articulated, Meiji-style bronze welded from spare and scrap tool parts, and the more than 500 perfectly imperfect chawan Sachs has sculpted, a selection of which will also be on view. What underlies and animates Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony, and what makes it such a meaningful contribution to the culture of Tea -not despite its sense of mischief but because of it- are the tens of thousands of hours of painstaking research, craft, and devotion Sachs and his studio have committed to this most extraordinary expression of human culture.
“Traditional tea ceremony,” is essentially 16th-century, which became a full-fledged culture because it captured lasting values in universal experiences. Tea celebrates hospitality, reinforces the development of community through ritual, creates a holistic but intimate sense of connection to the world in fundamental combinations of earth, air, fire, and water, and encourages quiet reflection. Tom Sachs’s version is a sublimely rich and deeply moving attempt to inspire new generations and new audiences to embrace those values and the culture that supports them, by way of exploring the infinite space within.”
Supplementing the tea garden are additional installations covering consummate examples of Sachs’ Tea tools, and a brief history of Tea as it developed out of Sachs’ Space Program: MARS (2012). The exhibition will also feature Tom Sachs’ film Tea Ceremony, a celebration of ritual that extends the artist’s two-decade-long absorption in the development of complex subcultures centred on labour.