The Way of Tea is nought but this: first you boil water, then you make the tea and drink it. Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591)
New Zen is a unique publication: a collection of the most innovative chashitsu, the traditional tea ceremony rooms, designed by contemporary Japanese architects and designers. This tradition, dating to the 15th century, subsequently became an integral part of elite Japanese culture, that of the samurai in particular. Traditionally chashitsu consist of a few essential elements: a niche with flowers and painted parchments (tokonoma), a fireplace set in the floor (ro), bamboo mats (tatami) and several windows. Over the last fifteen years these spaces – unfurnished and used exclusively for meditation – have been reinterpreted by famous Japanese architects who have created modern versions.
The introduction recounts the history of the tea ceremony, explains the functions of the various elements of the space where it is held and describes the ritual itself. The book follows an itinerary in which more than 35 projects are considered: from a tree-house in the Nagano countryside to a black lacquered transportable tea ceremony space. With more than 250 colour plates by celebrated photographer Michael Freeman, this book throws new light on one of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary Japanese culture.
Michael Freeman is an internationally famous photographer and writer whose specialities are travel, architecture and Asian art. As photographer and author he has published many books including The Modern Japanese Garden (Mitchell Beazley), Japan Modern (Mitchell Beazley), Savouring India (Time Life Books), The Spirit of Asia: Journey to the Sacred Places of the East (Thames and Hudson) and many others.
architcts: Amon Miyamoto + Tetsuo Goto, Michinobu Nonomura, Sotoji Nakamura + Yoshiro Taniguchi, Michimasa Kawaguchi, Chitoshi Kihara + Yasujirou Aoki, Atsushi Kitagwara, Takao Fujiki, Kengo Kuma, Fujiyo Takayama, Ken Architects + Takeshi Nagasaki, Arata Isozaki, Hiroshi Iguchi, Takashi Sugimoto, Shigeru Uchida, Hisanobu Tsujimura + Soushin Kimura, Ken Yokogawa, Masatoshi Takebe, Yoshiji Takehara, Shunmyo Masuno, Hiroaki Kimura, Ks Architects, Kisho Kurokawa, Toshihiko Suzuki, Kengo Kuma, Akira Watanabe, Kunihiko Hayakawa, Terunobu Fujimori, Shigeru Uchida...