Art for Social Change—The Metamorphosis of Tai-He Tea
文化部所屬國立臺南生活美學館與台南老爺行旅合作，共同舉辦《侍茶、奉茶、太和茶》特展，即日起至9月11日，在台南老爺行旅6789 Gallery 6F&7F展區，展出嘉義縣梅山鄉太和社區茶文化美學。除了欣賞太和茶藝之美外，暑假期間限定開放太和茶席體驗，歡迎旅客及民眾一起體驗太和經典茶席文化。
Portraits of Tai-He
Located in the Meishan Township of Chiayi, Tai-He is a small village surrounded by mountains. At daybreak, the rising sun illuminates the sky creating intense colors against the hills. In the afternoon, the hilltops sometimes disappear in the fog and clouds. The scenery brings about both an artistic atmosphere of traditional ink wash painting and provides a misty landscape that contributes to excellent tea production.
The catastrophic typhoon Morakot resulted in the reconstruction of Tai-He village. To promote environmentally friendly “tea culture”, local residents have created tea tastings and teahouses through collaboration between artists and the community. Young tea farmers have also begun to rethink the relationship between the tea industry and nature while developing organic tea.
The project, “Art for Social Change”, launched by National Tainan Living Art Center presents the selections representing Tai-He Village, including Kuo Wen-kuo, the former chairman of Tai-He Community Development Association, Chung Shao-bo, also known as “Uncle Ox” who is a master of traditional and bamboo crafts, Yang Li-fang, the coordinator for networking between external groups and the community, Jian Jia-wen, the promoter of organic tea, and Yeh Ren-shou, together with several teahouse owners, and 11 iconic tea brands in Tai-He.
When Art Meets Tai-He Tea
The project, “2006 Northern Tropic Environment Art in Chiayi”, was initiated by the artist Wu Ma-li in 2006. Five artists were selected to take up residency in the local community of Tai-He. Through collective efforts, the cultures of tea, pottery, woodcraft, painting, and photography have all been promoted. A program focused on pottery and tea sets, led by the ceramic artists, Tsai Jian-long and Wu Shu-wei, has helped to both establish a unique tea tasting culture in this small village of Meishan and has facilitated a process whereby “every household has its own style of tea tasting”.
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot caused catastrophic damage in Tai-He. In 2013, Chen Cheng-che, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and Landscape Design at Nanhua University, observed the distinctive tea culture of the area and then helped to build teahouses. Subsequently, local residents even formed a group called “Build by Ourselves”. The traumatic experience of the typhoon also encouraged the residents to rethink the relationship between the tea industry and nature, which has since led to the eco-friendly cultivation of organic tea. Through art, collaboration between the locals, professionals and artists has formed a unique Tai-He tea culture which has played a vital role in the reshaping of the Tai-He community.
In the exhibition, four different styles of tea tastings are presented by Tai-He villagers with extraordinary skill. The tastings provide seats for travelers while also transforming the space in an aesthetic way. Visitors are invited to bathe in the relaxing atmosphere filled with tea aromas, while embarking on an artistic journey to explore tea culture and life.
展覽地點：台南老爺行旅6789 Gallery 6F&7F展區(台南市東區中華東路一段368號)