Curated by Jack Stoneman, BYU Assistant Professor of Japanese
Among art forms in Japan, the so-called “tea ceremony” is often placed on the highest pedestal by both the Japanese and foreign students of Japanese culture. Cha no yu, as the art of tea is called in Japan, is a holistic artistic and culinary experience, involving all of the senses and requiring of the host a symphonic approach to hospitality, performance art, and conspicuous display of ceramic art. The utensils that become objects of use and artistic admiration in a tea gathering are signs of the host’s erudition and, in a much larger sense, symbols of Japanese culture when displayed in galleries and museums.
The tea bowl, from which guests drink the tea prepared by their host, is the most important art object in the experience of a tea gathering. It thus commands the greatest attention by potters, collectors, and connoisseurs. This exhibit focuses on the beauty and variety of tea bowls being made in Japan today in an effort to impart a sense of the subtlety and wide-ranging aesthetic tastes that inform contemporary tea ceramics.