Chen Chen and Kai Williams, ‘Nº 7 "Tea Set"’, 2015, Chamber
Chen Chen and Kai Williams, ‘Nº 7 "Tea Set"’, 2015, Chamber

Fascinated by the objects associated with various tea traditions, Chen and Williams sought to explore the idea of purpose within the differing elements of a tea set. Each object involved in a tea ceremony has such a specific function, yet their use often feels completely arbitrary. The Gongfu tea ceremony, an 18th century tradition of southern China, translates literally to “making tea with effort” and has 16 objects associated in its tea service.

They crafted this set not for any particular culture, but to honor and invoke the purposeful nature of each element of the tea drinking tradition. The set was made to complement their garden tray in hopes that the tea consumers will, mentally, enjoy drinking their tea in the tray garden.

Image rights: Fran Parente

New York, United States

About Chen Chen and Kai Williams

Brooklyn-based collaborators Chen Chen and Kai Williams cultivate an unexpected fusion of material and design. Experimentation fuels the duo’s process, as they combine found objects such as spandex, pieces of bone, and chunks of marble to create home goods, jewelry, and unique studio pieces. From the metamorphic to the functional, their expertly crafted work explores material fluidity in ever-changing spaces.

based in Brooklyn, New York