Water (Mizu) - Jae Eun Choi
Artist Statement
Virtual Tour
With extensive use of a modern material (Plexiglas), artist Jae Eun Choi devised a tearoom with a visually continuous interior and exterior. This gravity-defying design embodies the image of water in a constant flow. The walls are arranged at asymmetrical angles to convey forms of eddying water. In the midst of this imaginary movement, a water-filled vase sits quietly in the center of the tearoom. Representing the ever-reciprocal movement between yin and yang, Choi’s tearoom evokes Lao-tzu’s image of a vase filled with water:

Treat the fullest vase as empty, and it will not run dry in use.
- Lao-tzu, The Book of Change

Closely tied to Zen philosophy (an amalgamation of Taoist and Buddhist teachings), the way of tea also corresponds to the metaphor of the vase and water. As the epitome of the Way, the vase offers the life force of water much as a bowl of tea exudes warmth to the guest. Even as water evaporates from the vase, the water symbolism embedded in the tearoom design suggests in one’s mind a vase full of water. Effacing the spatial distinction of interior and exterior, and the container and the contained, the Water tearoom is a source of boundless imagination.

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