Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

World Tea Party Part One


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Centre A Presents

celebration of global tea culture 

February 12 – 28
March 12 – 21
Gallery Hours: 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm daily
Free admission before 6:00 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, February 12, 7:00 pm

Centre A is pleased to present World Tea Party, animated by tea master and calligrapher Bryan Mulvihill (aka Trolley Bus). Truly one of Vancouver’s “living cultural treasures”, Mulvihill has produced a special edition of The World Tea Party for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Previous versions have been presented publics large and small in a wide range of contexts, including the Winnipeg Pan Am Games, the Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Canada, the Hollywood Bowl and the Eiffel Tower.

The World Tea Party is based on the notion that humanity shares in the drinking of tea a spirit of generosity and understanding that both celebrates and transcends our cultural diversity. Tea is the most popular beverage in the world.

The World Tea Party is a “social sculpture” that involves the creative empowerment of the audience. The tea salon is a meeting place. Its interactive aspect makes it a suitable vehicle for a debate about the relationship between the Olympics and the Downtown Eastside.

Free Tea and Big Video

In the afternoon, tea is offered for free, both inside the gallery and at times on the street. From 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, large projections play on the building’s exterior windows. Video content includes work by various artists, live broadcast of performances, “skype” teas and the documentation of the World Tea Party in different contexts.

Special Events

The World Tea Party features a number of special events, including

Skwxumesh First Nations artist Cease Wyss, who will host a First Nations welcome event on Sunday, February 14, featuring indigenous herbal teas.

On Saturday, February 20, Jun Oenoki, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Tokyo Keizai University and artist-in-residence at Centre A, will produce a teleconference, in Japanese and English, with various art organizations in Yokohama, which will be streamed live to the Internet.

The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is presented by the Urasenke society of Vancouver on Monday February 22.

Many other events and new additions can be seen on the website.


 BRIGHT LIGHT – in partnership with Downtown Eastside arts groups

The World Tea Party is Centre A’s contribution to the City of Vancouver’ s Olympic and Paralympic public art program, Bright Light.  This project brings together the creative energy of fourteen arts organizations active in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Outdoor performances, video projections, urban planning demonstrations, social events and a parade are just some of the manifestations that animate the historical heart of the city. The group includes artist-run centres, a fashion artist, an architecture studio, a commercial gallery, and a magazine.

More information:

Come have a cup of tea!

World Tea Party is presented in partnership with the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad the City of Vancouver ‘s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program: Bright Light.

Tea generously provided by Pari Azarm Motamedi, DAVIDsTEA
“T” and private donors.

Centre A would especially like to thank Anndraya T. Luui for her support of this project.

Centre A gratefully acknowledges the support of its patrons, sponsors, members, partners, private foundations, as well as government funding agencies, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver through the Office of Cultural Affairs.