TRUNKEN AN NÜCHTERNHEIT
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Exhibition

DRINKING ON SOBERNESS

Tea and wine in Chinese art
© Foto: Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Marion Mennicken
November 13, 2019 - August 16, 2020
Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst
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The cabinet exhibition shows ceramics and lacquers as well as painting and calligraphy, which testify to the appreciation of tea drinking in China. In addition, the enjoyment of wine from fermented grain has been very popular since the late Neolithic. But while the wine was intoxicating, the enjoyment of many cups of tea made "drunk with sobriety". The museum presents sacrificial vessels for bronze and ceramic wine that were used in the ancestral cult. The stimulating effect of wine, but also the creative inspiration that tea drinking generates, was praised in the poetry of the Tang Dynasty (7th - 9th centuries). Eccentric artists from the Ming and Qing dynasties (14th - early 20th centuries) calligraphed the famous poems with a sweeping brush. The exquisite Chinese tea ceramics and the powdered, foamy green tea developed in the Chan (J. Zen) Buddhist monasteries and in the circles of the literary elite of the Song Dynasty (10th-13th centuries). The Japanese monks who made a pilgrimage to China to study Chan Buddhism brought the art of drinking tea to Japan, where it was accomplished in the 16th century by the tea master Sen no Rikyu. The origin of the Japanese tea ceremony is therefore in China. Even in modern China, wine and tea are again in vogue: in addition to wine made from pressed grapes, you can also get intoxicated with sinfully expensive teas such as pu-erh, white tea or Baozhong tea.

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