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The Tea Ceremony
1999 - mirrors, green tea, porcelain

In the heart of the Romantic garden lies the Tea House, a whimsical structure that dates to Giovanni Gambini's landscaping. Inside this structure, Karavan installed a permanent work as part of his four special exhibitions held by the SMAC (Metropolitan System for Contemporary Art, promoted by the Tuscan Regional Government) in 1999. The Tea Ceremony connects the intended function of Gambini's Tea House to the profoundly spiritual Japanese rite.
Inside the second floor room, a mirrored surface serves as a table for the ceremony. The reflection of the room and its painted wall decoration creates depth and a sense of ambiguity. A large cone of green tea rises from the center of the "table", while each place is set with a seven-sided small bowl of white porcelain. On the floor in front of every cup sits a white cushion in the same material, which echoes the shape of the room. The installation is visible only from the outside through the large French window on the balcony. On the other side of the glass, seven pairs of ceramic Japanese sandals seem to hint that the celebrants have already entered the sacred space and perhaps have already dematerialized during the rite.

Dani Karavan

Dani Karavan was born in Tel Aviv in 1930 and lives and works between that city and Paris.
Among his many solo exhibition we recall here the travelling show of 1994-95 in Japan: Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura; Museum Ohara, Kurashiki; Museum Miyagi, Sendai; Museum Tsukuba, Ibaraki; Municipal Museum, Mie; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo. Other one-man shows include the Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan, (1997); Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (1997); four projects for the SMAC (Sistema Metropolitana d'Arte Contemporanea, Regione Toscana) held at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Centro per l'arte contemporanea "L. Pecci", Prato; Gori Collection - Fattoria di Celle, Pistoia; Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia (1999); IVAM, Valencia (2002); Galera d'art Horizon & Centre Bonastruc Ca Porta, Girona, Spain (2004); National Museum of Architecture, Moscow (2002).
In 2007-2008 an important retrospective started at the Museum of Art, Tel Aviv to travel to the Staatliche Museen and the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, followed by the Setagaya Museum of Art in Tokyo and the Nagasaki Municipal Art Museum.

His permanent site specific works are found all over the world. Here we recall  the ones in Beer Sheva, Israel; Wolfsohn Park, Tel Aviv; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Cergy Pontoise, Paris; Olympic Sculpture Park, Seoul; Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg; Port Bou, Spain;  UNESCO headquarters, Paris; Nitzana (Israel-Egypt border); Goslar, Germany; Città della Scienza, Naples; Art Museum, Tel Aviv; Dialysis Pavilion, Pistoia; Parco della Padula, Carrara. In April 2009 he inaugurated Tempo, a site specific artwork at the Calenzano exit of the A1 highway in Italy.

For information:

Te. La cerimonia del tè

texts by A.M. Hammacher, Banana Yoshimoto, Masakazu Izumi Soko
Pistoia, Gli Ori

Language: Italian and English



Dani Karavan: The Tea Ceremony

Spazio Teatro Celle; June 12, 1999. Inauguration of the new permanent artwork, The Tea Ceremony by Dani Karavan. In honor of the inauguration, an authentic tea ceremony was performed to present the rigorous Japanese tradition in the context of Celle's historical Casian del Tè. 

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