Tom Sachs


Inside the concrete Noguchi Museum, Tom Sachs has built a house and garden inspired by chanoyu, the Japanese ritual of preparing and serving tea. But his materials are unusual. The gates are made from Con Ed barriers and corrugated metal. The tea room is constructed with blue installation foam and cement blocks. Outside the teahouse there is a handwashing station with running water and a bottle of hand sanitizer. The garden has a plywood-and-resin koi pond, and a bronze cast of a bonsaitree-shaped assemblage combining metal pipes, tampons, toothbrushes, enema nozzles, and cotton swabs. A large HD screen projects an image of Mount Fuji. Beyond the teahouse and garden, additional galleries display several of Sachs’s tea tools (for example, a motorized whisk for mixing matcha tea), and expand upon the origins of this project, contextualizing it in relation to the artist’s 2012 Park Avenue Armory exhibition, “Space Program 2.0: MARS, where the teahouse was first shown. Sachs’s contemporary reimagining of an ancient ritual blends tradition and futurism, art and design. In the context of the Noguchi Museum, it also suggests a parallel between Sachs’s art and Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture and furniture; both convey a passion for past traditions and a hybridized future. —Josephine Heston


Pictured: View of Tom Sachs’s exhibition “Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony” at the Noguchi Museum, New York.