I was talking to some tea people a few days ago and came to the conclusion that we all were drawn to this drink while searching for more grounding in our lives.
For Kenny, another tea friend, he takes this further by looking at the larger historical and cultural context behind Chinese tea. It’s something that he became interested in five years ago, and he’s been utterly passionate about wanting to share this knowledge and appreciation with more people. Last year, he had a tenmoku tasting session (which I wrote about here) and this year, he’s broadened this to a three-day exhibition titled Remember Ming, featuring tea, handcrafted ceramics, Han ethnic clothing, and incense.
I dropped by this afternoon for a talk and learned so many new things, such as the suppression of Han ethnic clothing during the Qing Dynasty and the poetic philosophy behind incense production. The sub-head of this exhibition is “the old is new again” and I find it to be such a fitting way to capture Kenny’s holistic reverence for these traditional cultural products which most of us take for granted. It may not be the trendiest or most profitable project to embark on, but he has certainly utilised his talents and experience well with Remember Ming.
As someone who loves tea, I appreciate how this drink has given me more exposure to the Chinese culture and language. And today, this exhibition provided a fitting reminder that even though I grew up in a Westernised environment, it does not mean eschewing everything else that is not. There are always things to learn.
If you feel like you need a time-out from the festive hustle and bustle, this cultural exhibition might make a nice change. The exhibition is free and will be happening this weekend (19-20 December 2015) from 11am-7pm at Tian Fu Tea Room (Park Royal Beach Road). There are 2-hour talks happening at 11am and 3pm on both days – admission is $45 and comes with tea and dim sum.
For more information, please visit the event website here.
Images courtesy of Erwin Tan.