“…We listen quietly to the boiling water in the kettle, which sounds like a breeze passing through pine needles, and become oblivious of all the worldly woes and worries.”
– Takuna Soho, 1573-1646, Zen Buddhist priest and tea master.
Walking into the Detroit Institute of Arts newly opened Japanese art gallery, visitors are immediately greeted with a 17th century Samurai helmet and a ceramic piece titled “Creature” created by Tomoko Konno. The exhibition has been in process for over two years.
The main installation in the gallery is the interactive tea table which sits in the center of the room. Visitors are encouraged to sit and handle a 3D printed tea bowl, while a digital host guides them through the tea service. Designed by Rhode Island design firm, Tellart, the table brings the elaborate tea service experience, which usually lasts up to four hours, down to five minutes.
Focusing on a theme of Stillness and Movement, one feels transported into the Japanese culture and its living traditions. Pieces in the exhibition will be rotating every six months, to protect light-sensitive and precious materials, such as robes from Noh Theater, folding screens, paper scrolls.