Sometimes it is necessary to depart from a familiar path to find something new.

The first post on my blog was inspired by a Facebook invitation to a Japanese Tea Art Ceremony. I wanted to find out, what Tea Art really is. Even if it is not the most exciting thing to drink tea in the gallery, it is natural to fear unknown things. In the art world, fear gives rise to prejudices about, for example, the new art form. If we face our fears, the strange thing becomes familiar and perhaps even enjoyable.

Starting a blog is also meeting a new issue and experimenting with your own borders – even though writing is familiar and comfortable. The only way to get ahead is to just start and do the best. I see this as an exploration to art and I want to share my experiences with you. I encourage you to do your own exploration, for example, with art and try something that you have not dared to do before. I would love to read about your experiences in the art world!

Art is democratic…

…because it is for everyone to see, for example, in galleries. However, going to the art gallery is a big threshold for many.

“How much does it cost?”  “How to dress up?”  “Are they pressed for me to buy something?”

These are questions that I often hear. I understand them well because I was thrilled to go into a great gallery of a big city. I was sure the gallerist would throw me out because I had old and worn winter boots. I survived, however, one experience richer. Remember these things:

  • To the galleries it is free admission.
  • You can dress up as you like.
  • Look and ask as much as you like. You will not be pushed into shopping. If that happens, give bravely feedback!
  • Trust yourself!

Making the flow like bees

Contemporary Cultural Association Plan B maintains a small and sympathetic gallery in the heart of Turku. B is as persistent as a bee because volunteers have been cared for the gallery for 12 years now.

The gallery aims to give young artists an opportunity to exhibit at short show times, thus reducing the cost. B also organizes much more than exhibitions. Croquis-drawing evenings are popular, as well SCIENCE ART series of lectures and discussions. Every year, the gallery organizes Superb! – a contemporary art festival of up to one month.

B Galleria is worth to include in the gallery tour when visiting Turku. More info: B-Galleria

A study of sadness

Galleria B is currently exhibiting Maija Revo´s Night Vision (15.-26.11.2017), which tells about sleep, prayer, searching and seeing in the dark. The exhibition consists of installations, photos, and texts. The beauty and mournfulness of the fallen plants remind us of our mortality. Memento mori! The set-up summarizes the relationship between man and material: how would it be maintained. Human ability is limited. We cannot keep the plants alive by cutting them out of roots. However, human desire is a connection to nature, which is also reflected in Maija Revo´s exhibition. Nature is transforming and living in its own circulation: as autumn falls into the winter haze, in the spring it again shows its vitality by bursting with the flower.

Sorrow does not destroy, but can build anddefend us. It´s for a human like a case for a butterfly. In its shelter we can experience a transformation and see everything in the new light. Of course, this requires time.

”I read backward

I write signs the secret language

I engrave with a key the letters to the table,

I forget your name for a while

I had seen a dream where

I remembered the song

These are my greetings to you unknown

Finally I wrote: “

– Maija Repo

“I enjoy a cup with you” – ”O-shoban itashimasu”

Chadõ, or “The Way of Tea” is understood as a way of life. The tea ceremony is the encounter of two or more people emphasizing proximity, harmony, and respect. The ceremony proceeds according to a predetermined form and follows the exact way of making tea, temae.

Chadõ cannot learn from books, but skill is transferred directly from a teacher to a pupil. This master-student relationship is based on trust, responsibility, and loyalty that is central to traditional Japanese art. For the tea Masters, life itself has become art.

Before the actual ceremony, our chadõ guides briefly described chad´s history, philosophy, and matcha-tea, and showed how a stranger is involved during an event, such as how to bow and how to deal with the tea bowl. The carefully selected season flowers and the writing roll on the wall are an integral part of the ceremony. Chakai, the more informal tea gathering, began when the host carried the tools needed to make tea in a stylized way to the tatami where I and two other guests were sitting in a traditional knee position. We tried to ignore the dozens of other guests behind our backs that followed the ceremony. The beautiful and peaceful movements made during tea ceremony are part of the whole, where the host meets a guest and prepares the best matcha-tea.

The host set in front of me a beautiful tray of sweets. After that, I put the tray in front of my neighbor, apologizing enjoying the sweets before her. O-saki ni! Finally I got a cup of green matcha-tea in front of me. I held a cup on my left hand and turned it to my host first to honor and thank him. Matcha was a thick drink and tasted like hmm… healthy. It contains plenty of antioxidants and refreshing alkaloids. No wonder the Zen monks drank it centuries ago because they felt it would help them focus on hours of hardcore meditation exercises. One cup match matches 7-10 cups of green tea, Wow!

In Chadõ, the main things are mental balance, peace of mind, harmony, respect, and purity of mind. The Japanese tea ceremony is still relatively unknown in the West, and its slowness may confuse people. However, it is an excellent counterweight to today´s stressful and busy everyday life.

This is Art – emotional experiences and learning new. Finally, I hope for peace of mind and emotional art experiences for every reader

Mirja-Riitta / Kunstportal




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