Tea Zen Exhibition 2015

Tea Zen Exhibition 2015

A multi-disciplinary media art exhibition at the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown and Dunbar Village. Featuring a rare opportunity to see the works of Chinese master calligrapher Don Wong, along with Vancouver-based artists Bryan Mulvihill and Lam Wong.

Zen in Japanese, Chan in Chinese and Dhyani in Sanskrit, means meditation: sitting still body speech and mind. When the mind and body are still, focused on the present moment without ideas or thoughts then the clear nature of the awareness mind is revealed. With practice and concentration this clear mind can be captured in a work of art, or in a focused activity, martial art, a tea ceremony, arranging flowers, in ones daily life.

The summer exhibition showcases cultural Tea and Zen inspired art including Don Wong's Chinese calligraphy, Bryan Mulvihill's (aka trolley bus) 'Calligraffiti' scroll paintings, the premiere of Lam Wong's documentary film Tea Zen, photography, painting, ceramic tea-ware, art installation, tea ceremonial gatherings, workshops and talks.




Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Sat. July 4th, 4pm-7pm

VISUALSPACE Gallery (3352 Dunbar)
Thur. July 9th, 6pm




Don Wong
Don Wong is a Master Chinese Calligrapher from Anxi, Fujian province of China. Born in a tea family that has been growing and making tea for many generations, Don has dedicated his life to practicing the art of tea and the art of calligraphy. Tea and the life of tea man are the main subjects of his calligraphy.

For over seven decades, his life is dedicated to creating unique calligraphy styles in Li (official), Cao (grass/cursive), Xing (running) and Kai (regular) Scripts. Don's cursive script is fluid with well controlled brush strength, a harmony of boldness and softness, full of drama and spirit. His work has been widely exhibited in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and collected all over the world.


Don Wong - Tea Poem

Tea Philosophy


Bryan Mulvihill
Bryan Mulvihill's 'Calligraffiti' pay homage to the 'cut-up' and 'permutation' processes passed on by Brion Gysin, who, along with William Burroughs, explored these techniques as a method to free the word, into an open state of visual association. With Brion's encouragement, bryan applied permutations to Zen Koan, expressions of enlightened states of mind. Offering an open-ended visual system, rather than a specific idea or reference point, it is intended to inspire creative participation of the viewer. These 'Calligraffiti' employ numerous languages and writing systems. Through a process of repetitive patterning, they stimulate the visual cortex, while at the same time remaining free of specific naming. The goals of permutation and Zen art are similar: to free the mind from preconceived ideas into a state of open awareness. Calligraffiti may look abstract but is in fact loaded with meaning and context.




Lam Wong

Lam is a visual artist, designer and curator based in Vancouver BC. His interest is primarily rooted in regional West Coast art history, with an emphasis on the development of painting and its avant-garde narrative. Lam’s creative approach is often concerning with bending Eastern philosophies and challenging the notion of painting. An immigrant from Hong Kong during the 1980s, Lam studied design, art history and painting, both in Alberta and British Columbia. He is currently practicing painting and tea related artwork as his main media. Lam sees art making as an on-going spiritual practice. His main subjects are the perception of reality, the meaning of art, and the relationships between time, memory and space. Lam lives and works in Vancouver, Canada since 1998.



Film Still: Tea Zen, 2015. A feature length documentary film written and directed by Lam Wong was premiered during the exhibition. Watch the film trailer.


Calligraphy by Don Wong 王黨 at Visual Space Gallery
Installation view: Sung dynasty poet Su Shi’s (1036-1101) "Prelude to The Water Melody”.《
水調歌頭》宋 • 蘇軾. Calligraphy by Don Wong 王黨 at Visual Space Gallery.


Installation view: Tea Art Space - painting, Spirit of Rikyu by Lam Wong and Calligraphies by Don Wong at Visual Space Gallery


Details: Chabana for tea ceremony at Visual Space Gallery


Installation view: Tea Zen exhibition at Visual Space Gallery, Summer 2015


Japanese tea ceremony (Urasenke tradition) teacher Sakaino Ayako in front of the painting Barrier by Lam Wong at Visual Space Gallery


Calligraphy Demonstration: Let's go for Tea! by Don Wong at Visual Space Gallery


Details: Don Wong's calligraphy book Tea Life.


Workshop: Taiwanese Tea Ceremony by Susan Lai


Talk: Zen Lecture & Meditation conducted by Zen master Eshin Godfrey


Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration by Sakaino Ayako sensei


Event: Serving Wagashi, tea sweets at the Japanese tea ceremony


Wagashi, Japanese tea sweets for tea ceremony


Paying respect and gratitude at the Japanese tea ceremony


Kung Fu Cha, Chinese tea ceremony conducted by Luke Moloney at Visual Space Gallery


Double Moon by Lam Wong
Tea Zen exhibition's 3 artists: Lam Wong (王藝林), Don Wong (王黨), Bryan Mulvihill (茶禪車) during the opening reception


Details: Calligraphy by Don Wong in main gallery at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Details: Chung: Middle Permutations by Bryan Mulvihill in Visual Space Gallery


Camellia Sinensis I
, an oil painting by Lam Wong displayed at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Musicians Kozue Matsumoto and Jirong Huang at Tea Zen exhibition. Photo by Yukiko Onley.


Live calligraphy demonstration by Don Wong at SYS Chinese garden during the exhibition. Photo by Noriko Nasu-Tidball.


Tea Zen by Moonlight 茶月詩情 event graphic at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Chinese Tea Ceremony lead by Lindsay Favell during the event Tea Zen by Moonlight at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Chinese Tea Ceremony lead by Adrian Sinclair during the event Tea Zen by Moonlight at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


Double Moon by Lam Wong
Tea Meditation lead by Lam Wong 王藝林 during the event Tea Zen by Moonlight at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden