TEA FOR 5 – THE OPIUM CLIPPERS Interactive performance by Neja Tomšič

08.11.2017 | Past events and exhibitions

Saturday October the 6th (from 19.00), and Sunday October the 7th (from 11.00 am), Neja Tomšič will perform TEA FOR 5. THE OPIUM CLIPPERS, at the B#S Gallery in Treviso. Entrance is free, but reservation is required: info@iodeposito,.org / +39 375 5532009. EVENTBRITE LINK: https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-tea-for-5-the-opium-clippers-performance-interattiva-di-neja-tomsic-46846382792

Tea for five – The Opium Clippers is a visual essay joining hand painted ceramics and performance. The central part of the project are five hand painted ceramics tea sets based on traditional Chinese gongfu tea sets. Each tea set illustrates the history of a particular ship, related to opium trade, and consists of a tea cup that depicts the ship; a tea pot that depicts the historical event, and the tea pitcher (chahai) that depicts maps, individuals and events related to the ship. Tea for Five is performed as a Chinese tea ceremony during which each visitor is served tea in an individual tea set and the history of each ship is explained.
Tea for Five illustrates the history of Chino-American and British relations through narratives of five ships connected to the opium and tea trade: the Houqua, the Lintin, the Eamont, the Sylph and the Sea Witch. It tells the story of the China dream, that resulted in conflict and colonisation, and development of capitalism. The history of the opium fleet does not only document this particular era, it also sheds light on its consequences and the understanding of the political world today.

Neja Tomšič is a visual artist, poet and writer from Ljubljana. Since graduating in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, she has been part of several group and solo exhibitions, performing and publishing poetry and prose, among other. She completed the PhD program at the Faculty of Humanities in Koper (SI), and is finishing her dissertation on documentary cinema and related practices in contemporary art context, focusing on Belgian post-colonialism.
She has performed her recent project Tea for Five. Opium Ships in Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Sofia and Madalena on Pico Island.
In 2014, she was awarded an ArtsLink Fellowship, during which she started an artistic collaboration with Baltimore artists Lisa Moren and Jaimes Mayhew, monumentalising erased histories in public space – the Nonument project. The following year, she also received the ArtsLink individual projects grant for Nonument01: McKeldin Fountain project, realised at the Transmodern festival in Baltimore. The project recently received the Saul Zaentz grant for Innovation in Film and Media Studies.
She is also a co-founder of MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art, a research and production platform devoted to transitory art and its project space in Ljubljana, formerly the MoTA Point, now the MoTA LAB.
For any additional informations, please vitis Neja’s web site: http://ne-ja.com/index.html

tea-tasters_1_origNeja Tomsic - tea for 5 (performance)

In the months of September and October 2018, B#S Gallery will guests the exhibition POST-COLONIAL FRAMES / EX ORIENTE, and, in addition, part of the space will be transformed into a performative “project room”, hosting an evocative cycle of contemporary performances.
The participant artists and performers will rewrite the space with their gestures and their actions, transforming it, from time to time, in prison, in an archive of memories, in the colonial tea room.
Photographs, paintings and installations by Lang Ea, Kimvi Nguyen, Kashif Shahabaz, Christian Tablazon, Estabrak Al-Ansari, Clare Charnley will be showned.
Performances by Ruchi Anadkat, Dan Allon and Neja Tomšič will take place in different dates.

The theme is among the most controversial.
“Ex Oriente Luxus, Luxus, Luxuria”: from the time of classical Greek civilization, the oriental world suggests an imagery of light, luxury and luxurious sensoriality, corresponding, for the man of the West, to the domain of the exotic, to the place in which -in a more or less oniric way- every desire can find form and fulfillment.
Without encyclopedic pretensions, the performance cycle captures “oriental visions” of the complex phenomenon of colonialism, interpreted in its multiform nature by the sensitive eye of the contemporary artist (giving voice to a different narrative).
Thus, behind the silks, spices and perfumes, the colonization of people, the economic exploitation of the naval routes, the cancellation of the local identity and the appropriation of the woman’s body will be displayed, in a revision of the archetypal images of the Orient, and staging out the “B-sides” of this process of geographic and cultural appropriation.
The new vision, made up of fragmented memories, erased faces, faded landscapes and invisible prisons, strikes the viewer with its powerful elegance, outlining links between artists from the Far East (Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Philippines), from the Middle East (Oman, Israel), and of the Near East (Slovenia, Balkans).