“Tea and Five Elements” Exhibition Opens at Russia’s State Museum of Oriental Art


On August 10, 2022, the State Museum of Oriental Art in Russia held the exhibition Tea and Five Elements to commemorate 500th birthday of Sen no Rikyū, founder of Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu).

Over 100 pieces of tea wares dating back to the period between 13th and 21st centuries are on display, including porcelain, lacquer, wooden and gold tea wares from China, Southeast Asia, DPRK and Japan; paintings, netsuke and other decorations in rooms used for tea parties. The exhibition intends to show Japanese culture of tea ceremony consisting of culture of tea-making and tea-tasting formed during tea parties held by monks and common people, Zen thoughts and traditional aesthetic standard.

Japanese tea ceremony has gone through several stages. From 13th to 15th century, they learned tea rituals from China, and then Sen no Rikyū founded “Cottage Teaism”. From 17th to 19th century, noble tea parties prevailed and tea ceremony enjoyed renaissance in the 20th century. Then new schools of tea ceremony sprang up in the 21st century.

Source: The State Museum of Oriental Art, Russia