TAIWAN CRAFTS JOURNAL
Mar. 2021 / Vol.80
The 2019 Creative Expo Taiwan featured a special pavilion – “Tea 3.1415” that showed tea craft-related materials, craftsmanship, aesthetics and the significance of tea in our culture, literally opening a new world for various audiences to see the beauty of Taiwanese tea culture and use of utensils from different angles. We would like to continue to dig into how Taiwan’s tea culture in the new era should go, and how to enhance its development by bringing what’s unique of this island into it in this special report. We also want to know what should be done to put crafts and tea culture together and make them prosper together, and what kind of craft life should be pursued in Taiwan to co-exist and co-prosper with East Asian tea culture and even the trend of globalization, trying to outline Taiwan’s tea craft culture and aesthetics that are spreading to the world.
Tea is a part of Eastern culture and something people can’t live without in Taiwan. Tea related utensils and crafts continue to flourish. When drinking tea, using utensils, and making tea, researchers also never stop going deep into the history of tea in Taiwan. Based on the research on the path of tea culture - the “first cultural path of tea in Taiwan’s tea capital Dadaocheng” discussed back in 2019, this article takes it one step further, studying the history of tea planting in Taiwan and how the tea path took shape. Through literature research and field investigations, we try to put together the road that leads us to the very origin of tea in the mountains of northern Taiwan. We enjoy tea and story behind it!
Tea culture is indispensable in the Oriental world, spanning from tradition to modernity, from food to utensils, and even interconnecting with the spiritual world. It not only represents our profound cultural heritage, but reflects a huge amount of business opportunities. With Taiwan as an open platform, the International Teaware Craft Institute plans to bring tea culture forward by launching diverse theme projects and events, while demonstrating a sophisticated landscape of tea culture that includes both international and local perspectives.
Through a tea party thrown by the Taiwan Charter of one of the schools of Japanese tea ceremony - Omotesenke, we experienced the spiritual consciousness and life philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony. The aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony - harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility are reflected one by one in the subtle interaction between the host and the guest, as well as how to appreciate people and things right at that moment with the five senses.
This article features Lin Rong-guo, the founder of Lin’s Ceramics Studio and You Bo-wen, the founding chairperson of Tea and Ceramics Department of the Yuanpei University of Medical Technology, looking back as well as talking about the future of contemporary tea and pottery crafts, tea cultural and creative industry, and Ceramic teaware study and education. Taiwan’s tea culture and crafts keep progressing with time by seeking interdisciplinary cooperation and innovation, and exploring the middle ground between science and sensibility, and best embodied in various forms of “tea ceremony”.