My main interest these days is Chinese tea culture and, with this research, I am wanting to explore the process of an active tradition invetion.
Chinese tea ceremony as a singular entity does not exist and has never existed (at least not in the way it does, say, in Japan). Nonetheless, there is a strong notion for creating a uniquely Chinese approach to tea, an authentic Chinese tea ceremony. By way of looking into the ways how a historically non-existent tea tradition is being invented and tailored to the needs of current-day China, I hope to gain insight into current social, cultural, and political trends, which shape China’s contemporary and future profile. I will be analysing Chinese literary products, tea-related artefacts, religious & philosophical oeuvres, records of drinking fashions, etc., in order to investigate in what ways the Chinese government drives and supports a large-scale process of social engineering and global self-branding with the vehicle of tea.