Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Cha Hu, by Teaparker (Chih Jung Sien)
Teaparker's latest book is about tea pots and the pleasure they bring to our life. This is his second book published by the Artist Publishing Co (He published many other books with other publishers, but most only had black and white pictures). Like his previous book, Cha Xi, Cha Hu is illustrated with numerous color pictures of teapots. The book tries to give an overview of all kinds of Chinese teapots. The structure of the book is quite original and underlines the role of the teapot: making tea.
Part 1: The pleasure of a treasured pot
Chapter 1: Happiness of a teapot
Chapter 2: Shape of a teapot
Chapter 3: Material of a teapot
Chapter 4: Decoration of a teapot
Chapter 5: Size of a teapot
Chapter 6: Color of a glazed teapot
Part 2: The Interaction between tea and teapot
Chapter 7: Green tea and silver teapots
Chapter 8: White tea and glass
Chapter 9: Yellow tea and (white) porcelain ware
Chapter 10: Qing (Oolong) tea and zisha pots
Chapter 11: Red tea and painted porcelain ware
Chapter 12: Black tea and pottery
(The translation of the summary is very approximate and mine only).
When Teaparker told me he was writing a book about the history of Chinese teapots, I thought it would be chronological and each chapter dedicated to a different type of teapot. This would have been a good academic description for teapot lovers. But I see now that his book makes even more sense, because it looks at teapots from the perspective of tea. In the first part, Teaparker examines the impact of various characteristics of a teapot on tea. And in the second part, he suggests the appropriate pairing of teapot and tea, classified by color.
This doesn't mean that the teapot is just a tool for the tea lover. On the contrary, the love for teapot can be even greater with the understanding of how their lines, clay, beauty all help make our tea even better.
The book (written in Chinese) counts 175 pages and weighs 500 grams approximately. It costs 10 USD (7 Euros) for those who want to order it from me.
My mother's Cha Bu makes 2 cameos in this book: on page 111 and 122. It provides the background for Teaparker's green tea experience here. You could already read about it here on my blog... 3 years before this book was published!