A Glow In The Dark Tea Room at Sanrio Puroland Challenges the Conventional Image of a Tea Ceremony

You might not believe your eyes if you saw a serene tea room in the vivid and lively dance floor at a Halloween Party.

This is what the art collective The TEA-ROOM designed : a glow in the dark tea room in collaboration with Sanrio, famous for the character Hello Kitty.

The tea ceremony took place during the PINK Sensation club event at the Sanrio Puroland during Halloween, challenging all the conventional images of a traditional tea ceremony room. Every year, fans of Sanrio and Halloween clothed up in mesmerizing costumes, come to the all night dance event orchestrated by famous Japanese musicians and artists.

As you enter the venue, a mysterious glowing tatami space surrounded by fluorescent paintings emerges suddenly. Essence of traditional tea room as well as different light element that is very new to this art, are designed under the guidance of Fumihiko Sano, the architect behind the collective.

There, the tea master of The TEA-ROOM, Souryou Matsumura welcomes you with a cup of tea, prepared in a fluorescent tea set. The concept, the layout and the tea sets have especially been designed for this event by all members of the art collective, which had a challenging time reimagining the future of the tradition using the light technology that is available nowadays.

Along with the tea is served a glowing Japanese traditional confectionery. As if you were to taste a crystal of light, the unfamiliar aesthetic of this sweet rings to our imagination immediately. Behind this new concept for the confectionery can be seen the expertise of Shiho Sakamoto, a traditional Japanese confectionery maker.

The playfulness that resides in every details is what is interesting in this experimental tea room. From the stripes of glow in the dark color surrounding the tea bowls which makes you wonder if a light in a liquid state has overflown from the cup, to the beautiful plates that shimmers in the dark awaiting the ceremony to start. Each element is a result of the experimental approach of the ceramist Riyoo Kim, also a member of The TEA-ROOM.

Meanwhile, the experimental nature of this tea ceremony had something to speak to the young and curious, who came to find a moment of serenity at the tea room before going back to the dance floor of the PINK Sensation.

Although it may look unfamiliar to the tradition we are used to, this is not just another flashy project which aim to make something avant-garde for the purpose of it.

At the heart of the glow in the dark tea room lies the philosophy of The TEA-ROOM in challenging the norm of the tradition, just as Sen-No-Rikyu, the founder of the current form of the tea ceremony did 400 years ago.

Photo by Lawrence Randall

Text by Jun Kamei

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