Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shin Hyun Churl Style Tea Set

This tea set is typical of artist Shin Hyun Churl.

The cups in this set are a delight to the senses. They have three circular windows in which one can view the beautiful edo clay. They feel just right in the hands as clay windows allow for the fingertips to enjoy the full tactile beauty the clay has to offer. Simultaneously, the eyes are able to view the smokey white glaze covering the rest of the cups. One wonders if the use of three windows might specifically imply that there is a certain auspiciousness that surrounds these cups and this set?

The tea caddy that comes with the set is of such unusual shape. Its long top protruding upward like the stem of a recently clipped flower blossom. The shape of this caddy is like no other it almost looks as though the lid of the caddy is a blossom turned face down in the fragrance of the dry tea leaves stored within. An interesting piece of an interesting set. The floral motif found in the caddy is carried through to the pot.

Shin Hyun Churl tea pots relay a sense of feminine floral lifelikeness. The clay and glaze compliments form to make them come alive. The large swirling flowering motif with the beautiful ebo clay blossoming in the center body of the pot exemplifies this motif.

The lids of Shin Hyun Churl pots are ornamentally topped with the motif of a budding lotus which is also seen in the lotus leaf shape of the plate that sits under the teapot. One must touch the lotus, removing the lid before tea can be prepared within the pot. In this way, the budding lotus design reminds us to prepare our minds for the awakening tea can offer us. Just as we prepare tea, we are also preparing our minds to drink tea.

Perhaps the most eye catching element of Shin Hyun Churl tea pots are their spouts. When viewed head on these spouts resemble the sensuous opening mouth of an orchid or ... ahem ... putting all metaphors aside, the ripe eager lips of a woman's vulva. When the last drops of tea drip from this scandalous spout, from pot, cup, lips, mouth, body, and mind our senses buzz with sensation. This pot reminds us to passionately use our senses when preparing and drinking tea. In a way it reminds us of the intimate experience that we share with tea when preparing and drinking it. The sensual orchid spout may also act as a warning against attaching oneself to the simple act of drinking tea.



Brent said...

That was a daring abandonment of metaphor! :)

Thanks again for a great post.


geneviève meylan said...

C'est trop beau !!!! je craque complètement pour ce service où l'on voit la terre brute !
thanks to present these beautifull pieces of ceramic : i am in love with this tea service . It makes me so happy to discover these coreen ceramist and their works .

Matt said...

Brent & Ginkgo,

Ahhh yes,

The bawdy comment.
It just had to be said.

One is happy to know that you are enjoying these superb examples of Korean ceramics and the stories that follow them.


Anonymous said...

wow thats a really beautiful tea set. I love the holes in the glazing.

Matt said...


Yes it really allows for one to fully experience the visual and tactile range that this set has to offer. From soft, thick white glaze to fine sandy goldish pink clay.