Hong Kong Design Centre Presents 'In Harmony: The Way of Tea' 4th Exhibition of DESIGN SPECTRUM

May 13, 2020 - 05:21
Hong Kong Design Centre Presents 'In Harmony: The Way of Tea' 4th Exhibition of DESIGN SPECTRUM

  • An All-encompassing Rendezvous Around Tea Culture
  • Brewing Tasteful Lifestyle with History, Aesthetics and Design  

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 13 May 2020 - Design Spectrum, organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) under the  sponsorship of Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is showcasing Asian design philosophy in four thematic exhibitions at 7 Mallory Street, a cluster of Grade II historic buildings in Wan Chai. Following three acclaimed design showcases, namely 'Material Modernity: Incredible Bamboo, Paper & Wood', 'Open Page: The Art of the Creative Process' and 'Refined Touch: Crossover between Design & Craft', the event culminates in the finale--'In Harmony: The Way of Tea', where visitors soak up the cosy, fascinating world of tea from the perspectives of history, culture and nature, giving substance to the joy of tea tasting with a nod to the relationship between man and tea through the lens of thoughtful design.

'In Harmony: The Way of Tea', where visitors soak up the cosy, fascinating world of tea from the perspectives of history, culture and nature, giving substance to the joy of tea tasting with a nod to the relationship between man and tea through the lens of thoughtful design.

Curator Amy Chow (left) and Co-curator Lee Chi Wing (right), the founder of Milk Design.

Tea Ware that Reveals the Multifaceted Aesthetics of Tea

Opening from 29th April to 19th July 2020 at 7 Mallory Street, the 'In Harmony: The Way of Tea' exhibition curated by Amy Chow, world-renowned interdisciplinary design expert, will bring fresh impetus to Design Spectrum's ongoing exhibition programme with thought-provoking insights from Lee Chi Wing, exhibition co-curator and founder of local product design brand Milk Design. A space dedicated to tea culture, the exhibition probes into the depths, the many possibilities, and the collective cultural memory originating from this ancient brew through the lens of history, aesthetics, life and nature. As Amy explains, "This exhibition focuses on everyday tea-drinking culture, from simplicity and directness of packaging and tea ware design to the ceremonial set-up which has an almost meditative effect on those taking part."


Featuring 45 projects by 20 design units from Hong Kong, the Mainland, Taiwan and Japan among other regions in Asia, the 4-part exhibition starts by enlightening visitors on the history of tea. This is followed by a study of the connection between tea, beauty and life through a diverse and versatile array of tea-related works, from tea ware and tea leaf product packaging to the design of teahouses. Among the exhibits are perfectly usable tea ware crafted by TOKI NASHIKI, a ceramics studio established by local young people who conceive pottery and everyday ware as that thin borderline between art and design, imbued with a sense of timelessness and used as a means to read their own interpretation into modern ceramics. Likewise, Annie Wan Lai Kuen, another exhibiting contemporary ceramic artist, uses daily objects as her subject matter to help us rediscover the extraordinary in the ordinary. Inspired by her personal experience of visiting homes and attending symposiums in Japan, her exhibits examine the interplay of art and life.

Multisensory Tea Stall Experience Highlights the Relationship between Tea and Nature

Co-curator Lee Chi Wing and his Milk Design team will add to the experiential edge with a 'Mobile Tea Stall' that goes against the popular perception of tea appreciation with a design that balances between form and function. On-site brewing services, alongside tea tasting and tea ceremony workshops, will be organised in collaboration with local tea brand BASAO as one of the extended activities during the exhibition period, to add an extra dimension to the tea appreciation.


Among the attractive programme line-up, workshops will be held for making hand-made white clay teacups and planting herbs, so visitors can enjoy a feast of the senses as they enjoy a cup of tea in a tranquil and cosy setting.

Apart from history and design aesthetics, the intrinsic bond between tea and nature are often implicit in human creations, from small tea ware to large-scale interior design. A good example is the works from 'Studio Kao Gong Ji' in Taiwan. An expert in bamboo craft, designer Feng Cheng-Tsung envisions a diverse collection of bamboo utensils for tea made with traditional techniques. ARCHSTUDIO from Beijing, meanwhile, has refurbished an old, hidden away "Tea House in Hutong" by reproducing the scene of a bamboo forest with wood and other elements, giving the tea house a new breath of life with a simplistic modern twist. An extravaganza of design works, 'In Harmony: The Way of Tea' offers visitors a unique experience beyond the world of tea.


Urban Tea Oasis: Enjoy Planting and Unwind

Comprised of three radicals that represent leaves, men and trees respectively, the Chinese character for 'tea' embodies the intrinsic link between man and nature, as with the modern Chinese garden 'Herbal Pavilion' conceived by Milk Design. Perched in the Atrium on the ground floor of 7 Mallory Street, the pavilion serves as an urban farmland with contemporary use at the heart of the city. The land is tended by Joyce Ng, an Urban Grower who will share the joy of planting and her knowledge of the natural world with the neighbourhood and visitors. Design Spectrum will also organise herbs planting workshops to give participants a chance to take the plants home with them and gain a better understanding of tea and related plants at the end of the exhibition.


Centring around a simple wooden structure inspired by the Chinese pavilion, the small green patch is a wonderland where visitors can farm, unwind and enjoy nature amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.


Design Showcase on Ground Floor: Online Shop of Local Creative Works

Meanwhile, the newly renovated Design Showcase set up by Design Spectrum on the ground floor of 7 Mallory Street will continue to exhibit creative works by three young local designers. The trio this time are accessories brand ZOEE, whose founder Zoe blends conventional craftsmanship with innovative design in delicate and playful knots, garnering commissions from American fashion icon Iris Apfel; Novel Fineries, whose designer June breathes new life into the double-sided embroidery from Chinese Suzhou province with her signature butterfly motif pocket handkerchiefs, and introduces a modern take on fashion accessories with her latest Serpentine Knot collection; and finally, design-led problem solver Mike Mak, creator of a practical yet intriguing invention, the Wisdom Tree bookshelf by Furnitury. Design fans can seize the opportunity to shop for creations from these three designers by scanning the QR code at the Design Showcase.


What's more, free guided tours are available at 7 Mallory Street to walk visitors through the exhibits and their design concepts, as well as visit the Design Showcase on the ground floor and 3/F Exhibition Area. For details of the 'In Harmony: The Way of Tea' exhibition and related happenings including workshops on pottery, planting, design and tea ceremony and other tea appreciation programmes, please visit www.designspectrum.hk.


In Harmony: The Way of Tea


29th Apr to 19th Jul 20


10am to 7pm, Monday to Sunday


3/F, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai


Free Admission

*In light of the current COVID-19 situation and for the health and safety of participants, precautionary measures will be adopted for the exhibition and its extended events, and the above schedule is subject to possible change or adjustment. For the latest updates, please visit the official website at https://www.designspectrum.hk/.