Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony presents Sachs’ distinctive reworking of chanoyu, or traditional Japanese tea ceremony—including the myriad elements essential to that intensely ritualistic universe. In the Nasher’s indoor galleries, Sachs will set a tea house in a garden accessorized with variations on lanterns, gates, a wash basin, a plywood airplane lavatory, a koi pond, an ultra HD video wall with the sublime hyper-presence of Mt. Fuji, a bronze bonsai made of over 3,600 individually welded parts, and other objects of use and contemplation, all made from commonplace materials easily procured at local art supply stores or through the McMaster-Carr hardware catalogue.
Sachs has also produced a complete alternative material culture of Tea—from bowls and ladles, scroll paintings and vases, to a motorized tea whisk, a shot clock, and an electronic brazier.
During the course of the exhibition, the Nasher will present a series of public demonstrations in which Sachs or a colleague will perform tea ceremony for a few guests. The walls of the tea house will be removed for the occasion, enabling visitors to watch the ceremony as it unfolds.
Supplementing the tea garden are additional installations covering consummate examples of Sachs’ Tea tools, a brief history of Tea as it developed out of Sachs’ Space Program 2.0: MARS, and a selection of objects from the artist’s two-decade–long career as a cultural hybridizer and devotee of modernist essentialism.
Originally organized by The Noguchi Museum in New York, Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony is accompanied by a 280-page artist’s book, Tea Ceremony Manual, documenting the artist’s culture and practice of Tea. The book was published by The Noguchi Museum, with additional support from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Nasher Sculpture Center.