TEA FOR FIVE: OPIUM CLIPPERS A visual essay and performance with hand painted ceramics
Tea for five: The Opium Clippers is a visual essay joining hand painted ceramics and performance. The central part of the project are five hand painted ceramics tea sets adapted around the traditional Chinese gongfu tea sets. Each tea set illustrates the history of a particular opium clipper and consists of a tea cup that depicts the ship; a tea pot that depicts the historical event, and the tea pitcher (chahai) that depicts maps, individuals and events related to the ship. Tea for Five is performed as a Chinese tea ceremony during which each visitor is served tea in an individual tea set and the history of each ship is explained.
Tea for Five illustrates the history of Chino-American and British relations through narratives of five ships connected to the opium and tea trade: the Houqua, the Lintin, the Eamont, the Sylph and the Sea Witch. It tells the story of the China dream, that resulted in conflict and colonisation, and development of capitalism in 19th century China. The history of the opium fleet does not only document this particular era, it also sheds light on its consequences and the understanding of the political world today.
Recent exhibitions: Mladi Levi Festival, August 2017 Glej Theatre, June 2017 Azores Fringe Festival, June 2017 Sofia Underground festival, May 2017 Sarajevo Winter Festival, March 2017 Ziferblat Ljubljana, Januar 2017
Concept & painting: Neja Tomšič Ceramics: Anja Slapničar Produced by: MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art