This Museum exhibition tells the story of the teabowl, a highly valued ceramic form closely linked with Japan and becoming increasingly popular in contemporary Western ceramics. The exhibition will present 55 examples of teabowls, including historic teabowls from the East, teabowls made in the West in the spirit of tradition, and teabowls made with a sense of subversion.
Curated by artist and writer Dr Bonnie Kemske, and Dr Matthew Tyas of the Leach Pottery, the exhibition will also tell the history of the teabowl, as it arose in the East through use in chanoyu, or Japanese tea ceremony, and its journey to the West. Outside of Japan, many potters have venerated traditional teabowl techniques and aesthetics, while some have chosen to subvert and challenge its deep cultural legacy.
The exhibition also coincides with the Bloomsbury publication of ‘The Teabowl: East & West’ by Dr Kemske, which further explores the themes of this exhibition and examines the teabowl through both its use and its aesthetic, and provides further consideration of the teabowl’s venerated status and mystique.