I first laid eyes on Mei Zi's Gaiwan in a shop on Yongkang Street in Taipei. Her signature gaiwan was on display, and it immediately left an impression, with its neo-traditional feel, bold colours and distinctive form. When the chanced came to meet her in person, I jumped upon it immediately!
I was fortunate enough to be visiting Mei Zi on the day her kiln was due to be opened. Waiting for the temperature of the kiln to drop to a safe temperature so that the pieces will not crack, we had time to chat and talk about her life and her art.
Just like her creations, Mei Zi is an interesting character. Slightly dreamy, full of abstract ideas and aware of the difficulties of dreaming in the real world, she shared her thoughts and memories, treading carefully at first.
She draws her inspiration from childhood memories of carefree roaming in her rural hometown of Chiayi, where life was simpler and nature was all around. She fondly recalls days when she runs around the rural landscape, watching with wonder as ants gather around a sweet she left as if by magic. The feel and sounds as she played with water in the large clay jar, scooping water with a ladle. These experiences form a ideas-library that she access when she makes her tea ware.
Her eclectic style is a reflection of her exploratory personality. She uses a range of colours and forms, experiments with wheel formed pieces and hand mould pieces, and seeks to incorporate some nature into her pieces.
Her use of bold colours are interesting and not jarring.
Her hand moulded pieces of Gaiwan are pretty in an imperfect and whimsical manner.
Ginko is a recurring idea in this kiln-load of items.
Mei Zi was brewing with some of her signature pieces - the red gaiwan with textured surface from sandy clay slip and her ladle inspired katakuchi. Because her signature pieces are also her favourite pieces!
We brought home some of her pieces. Most of them are sold out now but we will visit her again! Do check out our web store for some of her pieces!
About all things Tea
Hello! My name is Hongyuan!