Sunday, August 5, 2012

Japanese Tea Art Scroll

I am always intrigued looking at pictures of tea rooms in Japan.  Tea is big in Japan and the famed Japanese tea ceremony is like an art in action; so intricate and elaborate.  I have 'youtubed' videos and simply marveled every time when I see a Japanese tea making ceremony in action.  

There are houses or apartments in Japan where an area or room is set up just for brewing tea.  I had noticed that the walls of these tea rooms were usually adorned with art.   Scrolls of painting or calligraphy were hung conspicuously, I believe, to enhance the tea brewing ceremony.  

There are several motifs that are normally used in the art scrolls for the tea room.  A common theme is the 'san-sui' (aka mountain & water).  This theme would be that of mountain, lake, sea, nature scenarios.  Such art are usually single color or monotone.  You can also have animals or pictures of the Sun, another popular motif used in painting scrolls.  Pictures of the rising sun are very popular in Japan.  Likewise, animal pictures like cranes, birds, tiger and other animals are sometimes preferred by the house owners.  Calligraphy works by renowned celebrities or monks are sometimes seen in the tea rooms.  There are also art scrolls that are done in color as seen in the pix above.  The 2nd pix is done by Oya Shunrei (around 1930-40s).

I had purchased these art scrolls on Ebay.  Art dealers in Japan do put these scrolls for sale.  I try to place my bids at the last minute of the sale in the hope I am not outbidded at the last moment.  I think the ebay terminology is 'sniping'.  I am not successful at times as I do get 'sniped' back in the last minute bidding process.  Anyway, I managed to snag a couple of san-sui and 2 of these colored scrolls early last year.   

Do look at the dimensions before you buy as in the case of the 2nd pix, I found that the scroll was too long for my wall.  The entire scroll took up the entire height of the wall and did not look appropriate when hung.  Maybe I should move house. 

Any Japanese readers...... I would appreciate if you can send me pictures of tea rooms in Japan ...... and if you can point me to the right direction, I would love to visit Japan to look and appreciate Japanese tea farms and tea rooms first hand. Thank you.

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