The exhibition “From the Artifact to the Tao —Tea，Wine，Flower and Fragrant Lifestyle Tao-ceremony” opened to the public in Sea World Culture and Arts Center on September 15, 2018. It began with the elegant experience of the tea, flower and incense ceremonies. Jointly hosted by Shenzhen Yantian District Tiangong Intangible Heritage Inheriting and Learning Center and Design Society, it’s a humanistic discourse between the traditional craftsmanship and contemporary thought which extends through time and space and connects the creation of craftsmanship with the aesthetic appreciation of contemporary art.
The exhibition demonstrates works from Fang Ye and Frederick Rickmann (UK), two contemporary artists and designers at home and abroad. The works, including lacquer, silk, embroidery, drawn work, jade carving, ceramics, grass, bamboo, bamboo furniture, silver teapots, copper incense burners, logsfurniture, etc. are created by modern Chinese craftsmanship. Through the set-up of tea, wine, flowers, incense and other elegant ceremonies, they build a humanistic Tao-ceremonyfor close communication experience, letting the audience feel the temperature of traditional crafts in the form of daily life. This exhibition is aimed to show the beauty of traditional Chinese crafts as well as the creation and design of the artists at home and abroad from different perspectives of aesthetic appreciation and cultural reflection.
The artist Fang Ye creates a series of works themed on “Expression of Tao”, including Fragrant Tao-Ceremony (Series1): Continuation of Eminent Monks Xuan-Zang and Jian-Zhen, Tea Tao-Ceremony (Series 2): Tea Ceremony with Su, Dong-Po, Flower Tao-Ceremony (Series 3): Flowers for Confucius and Voltaire. Fang Ye uses three spaces with deeper thinking to bring visitors back to the Tang dynasty when Confucianism and Buddhism came to the fore and the silk road opened cultural communication. Fang Ye uses the three cardinal directions (east, west, south and north), five elements (gold, wood, water, fire and earth) and six sites (sky, earth and four directions) to establish his three Tao-ceremonies which are traditional Chinese but with universal thinking to fill the global world with culture truth (Tao). Fang Ye uses delicate fine materials with excellent craftsmanship to express the elegant and humble life of traditional aristocracy families in China.
One of Frederick Rickmann’s works is inspired by China's profound culture after the artist’s visit in China's Chaozhou. The series of works that he uses the exquisite technology of Chinese artisans to achieve design creation include "Gift, Cheers" glasses, After the rain in southern China (embroidery)，521000 furniture series. In his view, using the new craftsmanship to perfectly represent the ancient works of art is a thing that the Chinese craftsmen are pleased with and this process is much like a time machine of the artists.
During the opening day of the exhibition, the visitors can experience the tea culture of Song dynasty through the elegant ceremonies in Tea Dao-Ceremony area and make a cup of Song tea by themselves. In the Flower Tao-Ceremony area, they can appreciate the beauty of the plants. In the Fragrant Tao-Ceremony area, they can feel the peace in the ceremony and learn about the history of burning incense in China. All this scenes provide a way for the visitors to experience the elegant life of the ancient and the modern lifestyle of the literati today.
Shenzhen Yantian District Tiangong Intangible Heritage Inheriting and Learning Center, as one of the hosted organizations ofthis exhibition, is aimed to enhance the influence of traditional culture, innovate and inherit the traditional culture, take full advantages of the unique local culture in order to make contributions to the practice of cultivating people. Furthermore, it endeavors to be an important platform to spread the essence of traditional culture to the citizens in Yantian District, even the whole Shenzhen City. As a significant event of Tiangong, this exhibition indicates that the inheriting and learning practice of intangible heritages in Yantian District has gone upon a new cultural landmark, Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Shekou of Shenzhen, and got communicated and spread with an international horizon.