inside the Tea house “Il giardino di Sakura”
Villa Erba, Como
Project team: Vaprio Zanoni, Barbara Crimella, Jukai, ENZO, Yukiteru HIRAI, Architect TAITAN, Shoko KAWAHARA, Eriko TAMAI, Akino IIDA
Curated by Alessandra Alliata Nobili
On the lawn in front of the International Exhibition and Convention Center in Villa Erba, sixteen square meters of white stone, carefully arranged, mark the square space of a Zen garden. Another smaller and decentralized grassy square welcomes the Casa del Té.
The Japanese landscape artists ENZO and Yukiteru HIRAI, following the Japanese tradition of the ‘dry landscape’, design the place that is a corollary to the tea ceremony: the white gravel represents the water, the dark stones of slate trace the path that leads to the entrance of the Tea House, the minimal vegetation mixes with art, the strings of brass grass by Barbara Crimella.
The grass is closely linked to the earth from which it is born, and this symbiosis of earth-grass reflects a decisive symbolic aspect that leads us to consider our vital roots and its being part of a whole, the earth.
The Hanten is made by the artists of Jukai, the place dedicated to the tea ceremony, usually in a cubic shape. It frames the grassy part of the garden, underlining the absence of continuity between ‘exterior’ and ‘internal’. Two accesses distinguish the structure: one for the guests, the larger, the other, lateral, of service. The floral decorations and the warm light of Japanese paper lanterns and tall wax candles, invite the users to attend the ceremony officiated by the teacher Shouko KAWAHARA.
The Tea House-Hanten project and its garden are the result of a close collaboration between different skills ranging from landscape architecture to contemporary design to art; at the base there is an intense dialogue between Italian culture and Japanese culture.