Journey To The East – Wistaria Tea House Vol.1

Journey To The East is a title of a beautiful exhibition in Wistaria tea House in Taipei opened on 10th of Nowember 2018. Two artist show their ceramics – Andrzej Bero (PL) and Emilio Del Pozo (US). Andrzej is our long-term friend and we regularly present his pieces. Thefor he agreed to write about his impressions and there will be even two volumes of them!

 

It was my second visit to Taiwan. The purpose of the first one was to accompany an exhibition I had together with Mirka Randová, Petr Novák and Scott Drake in Taichung, in Qui Shan Tang Tea House. It was only a one-week trip.

Trip of a Lifetime

This time I didn’t stay long, either. Five days were just enough to prepare and open a new exhibition with Emilio del Pozo in the legendary Wistaria Tea House in Taipei. How was that possible? It was Milan Dřímal, tea specialist from Prague and my long-standing friend who first showed my teapots to Sophie Lin. She had already known the works by Emilio (who used to live in Taipei for many years and whose interest in tea brought him to pottery). Sophie’s wish was to show our “Journey to the East” at her place. In fact, I didn’t know much about Wistaria, although I’d heard about Mr Chow Yu. It was enough to feel a bit nervous and tongue-tied (unnecessarily), but only until I heard “Dzień dobry”(“good day” in Polish) at the airport.
It was Lou Czin and Ling Wei who became my guides for those days, my interpreters, I dare to say also friends − while Ling Wei was a brave driver on the crazy streets of Taipei.

Soya milk and Vinegar

 

I arrived early in the morning so we started with breakfast. One of the best breakfasts in my life. It took place in a 1950s family street bar.
Later there was a first visit of Wistaria. Unpacking, counting, pricing, shooting of items – all these romantic aspects of being an artist. Finally, first tea. This year it was Bai Hao oolong from a garden I didn’t know at the moment and that I had a chance to visit later.
In the night, I took the first lonely stroll down Yongkang street, which was a 5-minutes walk away from my hotel. It later become my habit for these few nights. A street full of small antique shops, teahouses, coffee shops and restaurants.

 

Unpacking

Discovering Yongkang

With Michael Flynn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next day we set out for Yinnge. It is a district associated with pottery and has a fantastic museum that is a must if you are a potter or ceramics addict. I closely missed the AIC congress and their exhibition I had wanted to see. But there still was an exhibition called “Humanistic Return”, very curator-style (meaning a total mix) but it was a great opportunity to actually see works by modern artists I admire such as Nathalie Doyen, Akiyama Yo, Liu Chen Chou, Jun Keneko and such American icons as Voulkos and Soldner.

We spent two hours there with Michael Flynn who was at a three-month artist residence in a nearby studio. It was fun to meet him there and it was the first time we (I mean he) could talk about his narrative ceramics.

 

We spend the rest of the day walking on the main street full of galleries and tea shops. THZ Gallery was a must for me!

Clay and Metal, Zen Style

I had a small delay before I could see Wu Wei-Cheng’s, Onaka Kazunori’s and Park Sung-Wook’s group exhibition. I wanted to see it very much, but I also wanted to admire Kazunori’s works in the shop. Finally, I could touch them, but still could make no pictures.

The works by the Japanese artists Katase Kazuhiro (teaware) and Konishi Mitsuhiro (metal) were a show. They collaborate, a bit like Mirka Randová and Petr Novák with Ondřej Sedlák.
One more place worth mentioning. In an alley, there is the DAQIAN gallery with beautiful works. There was an old lady who served us great young sheng from her own production. After small talk we realized the works were made by her son, Peter Kuo. Small world. I didn’t know him personally but I know his work and he is a very good friend of Emilio’s. http://daqiantw.com/
When we came back to Wistaria later, everything was almost arranged!

To be continued… (2. volume coming soon!)

In Wistaria Tea House

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