Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck
Contemporary Tea Culture
with Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck
With a rich body of often semi-autobiographical work, Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck wishes to generate positivity, compassion and positive feelings, deriving inspiration from her daily life and close observation of nature. Her practice, composed of painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, film, photography, gardening, workshop and writing, often conceals ecological messages rendered in soft and delicate methods. Theories related to Art Therapy, Deep Ecology, Permaculture and the Way of Tea are at the roots of her works. Tagada Hoffbeck is building a coherent and singular practice, often described as poetic, gentle and placing considerate importance on processes, collaboration and care. In several of the artistʼs projects, interaction with the environment and others plays a central role.
Chapter 4 explores the presence of plants other than Camellia Sinensis in tea cultures across borders while exploring the practice and history of Chabana.
Chapter 4 features, among others, the cross-cultural pottery of Ladi Kwali, Hackney Herbal in London, the story of an eighty years old Ikebana master and teacher, Masala Cha, as a cup of heartwarming heritage, the journey of Sooji Im and her leafy Korean tea Oasis, Charlotte Perriand's tea house, a tea diary in Thailand, a short history of tea with rice in Japan, the secrets of a tea scroll, a conversation between Makio McDonald and Peter McDonald, the playful tea vessels of Angus Suttie and, of course, another instalment of Izumi Shiokawa's manga.
Journal du Thé (JdT) invites readers to explore contemporary tea culture. Created and edited by Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck and Tilmann S. Wendelstein in 2018, Journal du Thé wonders what is it that makes tea into this force which lets us slow down and grants serene moments to our lives. It is said that what makes a teapot a teapot is the empty space inside. Likewise, this publication sets out to explore space – in this case, the space surrounding a cup of tea. With a curious and playful eye, Journal du Thé investigates the palette of cultures and feelings contained within tea practices and their power to overcome borders. For us, tea is a symbol of togetherness.