This work consists of three items used in a Japanese tea ceremony, together with a bamboo tea whisk.

The three-dimensional engraving and the superimposed green and clear layers of glass suggest the flowers are floating in a bowl of liquid. From certain angles a smaller bowl appears refracted in the centre. The optical illusion hints at the story behind the work which was the artist's response to the predicament of the present Crown Princess of Japan. On closer inspection, the tea bowl is un-useable because it is almost solid. The princess has an ambiguous status within the royal family because she bore a daughter instead of a son. Here the un-useable tea bowl symbolises her ostracism from daily social rituals. The smaller bowl glimpsed inside the real one refers to the princess’s daughter.


The artist.

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Castle Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3JU
01603 493625

Opening times

  • Monday to Saturday 10am-4.30pm
  • Sunday 1-4.30pm

(1 July – 23 September 2019 open until 5pm)

  • Closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
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