What if in the past, the tea room was a room to enjoy Augmented Reality?
In the past, the tea room was a place where people would come to play with their imagination : the tea pot could represent a mountain, the flower a vast prairie, the kakejiku bring life to a vast natural scenery and the confectionery the taste of the sunset.
The guest would enjoy the tea ceremony with their imagination, with the tea master guiding them through their experiences. It very close to how we enjoy Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality contents, as if people in the past had a AR system and that the tea room was a trigger to those multiple imaginations.
The tea room is filled with object which trigger your imagination
The famous Nou artist Yasuda Noboru is one of the famous figure to suggest that ancient Japanese enjoyed their imagination in Japanese gardens where they would overlay a scenery from a verse of a poetry on the real garden.
Interview Link : http://www.a-m-u.jp/report/201703_wellbeing4.html/
In the tea ceremony, the philosophy of mitate invites the guest to use the imagination to see things and meanings.
Perhaps then, the tea master is also like a augmented reality artist or a videogame designer, inviting the guests to experience the world he or she has created and curated.
Then perhaps, the virtual world and the tea room is not as far as we had imagined, and that maybe in near future you could see more and more overlap between the new available technology and this traditional art.
TEA FUTURES is delivered by the art collective “The TEA-ROOM” with the aim to rethink the 400 years old tradition, just as Sen-No-Rikyu did 400 years ago.
Text by Jun Kamei