Take pART 2013: Art Fundraiser and Tea

       Every year I make sure I submit work to Take pART here in Toronto. This fundraiser is organized by The Branksome Hall Alumnae Association. All the raised funds go to student financial aid at Branksome Hall, an IB World School for girls, which is located in the heart of Toronto. 
The past few years my work has been consistently following the themes from my undergrad thesis. This involved themes of the body, gender, women, femininity and identity. This year I decided to show newer themes namely my tea art.
      All of the works are 10″ x 10″, each piece is a mystery till it is purchased. This is the reason for me posting this so late today. As promised to each of the new owners of these works here is some background information for these pieces. So if you are one of these lucky few, brew your cup of Phoenix Mountain Almond tea that was attached to the back of the work and read on.

” Japan Vs. China”
    This work features chawan (matcha bowl) and yixing pots. The reason why I choose these two types of tea ware is due to how tea spread from China to Japan. The latter then developed their own way to present the whisked tea and China created the first tea pot.
    I adore both cultures and enjoy studying both extensively through tea.

“Song Dynasty Tea Tools”
  These historic tea wares were mentioned in Lu Yu’s Tea Classic when I first read it back in 2010. Upon reading it again I looked them up and felt the need to paint them in sumi-e style. Like the work above I like to mix the two cultures together in ways such as this.

       Being of Indonesian decent, I feel that I am looking back the past of cultures who influenced the development there. The first work pokes at these ideas I have, mixing the two together to get something singular and unified. I am planning to visit all of these countries before I have grandchildren, I personally have a weird tendency to plan far far in the future like this. I can not wait to see them.

  To the patrons who purchased these works,Thank you for supporting the arts! Please contact me as I would love to meet you. If you have time I would love to meet over tea (or coffee if you prefer, lol) to hear why you purchased my work and how it makes you feel. Thank you with all my heart.

Surprise at my door!

Thursday, I went outside to get some fresh air after watching a lot of Chinese dramas, I set up The Sorcerer and the White of Snake(白蛇传说) to load and went out the door. Upon opening it I found a box at my door which the customs label stated there was a tea cup inside. At first I thought I had forgotten about an e-bay or Yuuki-cha purchase I had made perhaps over my vacation. 
    Once I finally opened the box I came to realize this was the package from KingKoh who also sent me incense.
    This tea cup is a beautiful chawan. I am still in shock that I have this piece of art. Strangely enough I had just purchased a cast iron pot to use for chanoyu practice this very same day. Since opening it I have been starring at the bowl, picking it up and feeling the unique textures it has. 

     Koh left me a note inside of it, ” I put this tea bowl in that I made as a suprise. It has a white Shino glaze with a white oak ash on the outside that turned green. The inside has crawled and stayed white. I also infuse my bowls with reiki energy. I hope you enjoy it.”

 On a smaller green note says” Shinorei”, which I believe is this bowls name. I am curious as to which kanji is used to write it’s name. On another note, I am glad that this came when it did. I have been working on an assignment for Tea classes which I am to create a Problem-free-contemporary tea service. I choose Chanoyu to use as a basis, which I am slowly studying. The tea bowl, I am sure, will inspire such assignment. This gift made my week much better after having an Asthma attack on the way to work Tuesday, I am fine now though as I am taking various medications. I am off to grab a few things so I may work on an art piece this afternoon (after going to Tao Tea Leaf~). 
   I can not thank my friend King Koh enough for this amazeing surprise!

Do Matcha: How to make matcha

 A while back I was asked if I would like to do a review for DoMatcha. I quickly accepted and did not expect to receive not only a full can of matcha but a whisk and holder.
     I tried the tea a few times casually to take notes on the tea itself. Then finally  I sat down to do a final tasting(what you see here).
    I was impressed but the amount of froth that appeared on the surface of the liquor, it seemed almost thick. For a few moments I wondered if I had made Koicha( Thick tea) and not Usucha (Thin tea) by mistake, but I was proved wrong when I tasted it.

For this tea I used my special chawan from the AGO, purchased last year when they had Jackson Polluck and other Modern artist’s work on show. I used the new chasen from DoMatcha and the holder for this set up.
        The tea itself has a very nice bright green hue and finely ground, there was no need to sift it. The tea itself was smooth. It had a cooked bean scent and tasted vaguely like brusel sprouts and finished with a dark chocolate taste on the tongue. It had a medium body for the amount of matcha used. Very pleasant. This has become my morning tea since its arrival.

    After looking at Do Matcha’s page I found the following information:

 Certified organic by JONA (Japan Organic and
Natural Foods Association), this premium, organic ceremonial Matcha is
the purest and most sustainable way to enjoy the ancient Matcha
tradition. Our DoMatcha Ceremonial Organic Matcha is produced in the Uji
Region, in Kyoto, Japan where matcha originated over 800 years ago.
(Makes about 25 servings.) $33.99 USD

How to Make Matcha

 ** Refer to images as reference
1. Warm up bowl and matcha whisk (chasen) with warm water. This cleans them and preps the whisk for use.

2. Place 2-3 scoops (chashaku) into the bowl (chawan)

3.Add in about 3-4 oz of 80 degree celcius water

4. Whisk quickly at the writs in a “W” or  “M” figure with whisk till frothy

5. Enjoy!

I am glad that I got to try this organic matcha. I try to keep a few different grades on hand (small quantities of course for freshness) so that I can change depending on my mood. This matcha is perfect for everyday Chanoyu practice. It has the right balance I look for in a matcha for this purpose.
     I look forward to possibly trying other matcha’s from DOMatcha. I want to thank DOMatcha and Tiffany Picard for this opportunity to do this review.

For more posts on Matcha check out our Matcha Tea page Here! Enjoy~!