31 May, 7 and 14 June, 2014
As the Showroom is a space of, in Mai's words, "internet reflection" her Tea Ceremony will focus less on "typical Japanese culture, such as origami and kimono, but would like to share the real spirit of it by bringing together worldly life", an IRL network.
Travelling across Europe Mai has also used the opportunity of not having many traditional tea utensils with her, to share the concept of Mitate (見立) and the practice of Japanese tea master Sen no Rikyū.
Mitate is known to present "subtle thematic or symbolic similarities between different things, and the puzzle or riddle of interpreting and discovering these hidden meanings." Mai speculates that perhaps Rikyu was a "Duchamp before Duchamp." As roughly 450 years ago he started repurposing everyday tools into a tea room, which in 16th century Japan had similar function to that of gallery or museum, and in doing so elevated the value of the tools.
"After Rikyū decided some things are beautiful and gave a reason why, some samurais would kill each other over a shabby chic ceramic spice container."
Mai Ueda (b. Japan)
Mai's art practice is influenced by Japanese tradition and rituals, as well as her travels around the world. Her art work explores the directness of approach and honesty of self in the electronic age through multimedia installations and performances. Mai was one of the founders of the NEEN art movement which concerned itself with the poetic potential of internet and digital art in 2000. She has been extensively exhibited in museums and institutions around the world, including Seoul Biennial 2004, Venice Biennale 2009 and MONA, Tasmania 2013.