Japanese Tea and Ritual Room - multidisciplinary installation with survey, installation, performance, and community gathering with Japanese sweets and Tea

Japanese Tea and Ritual Room (2023) - Survey, text/ video/ object installation, performance, and community gathering


This is an interactive installation about personal rituals and Japanese Tea inspired by the surveys answered anonymously by local New Yorkers. 

A survey about personal rituals are sent and answered anonymously to the artist. 

These rituals in the survey were transformed into installations to be re-enacted by the visitors at the gallery.  Japanese Tea performance, sweets, and tea were shared as a public ritual in the gallery. 


Survey was sent 5/11-6/9/2023.

Installation/Performance was enacted on 6/18/2023 at the Center for Performance Research as part of Show Don't Tell Symposium at Culture Push

photo by Jordan Leonard and moira williams

Private Rituals in 2023 submitted by local New Yorkers through the survey  

  • Stare at nothing
  • A daily nap 
  • Folding the laundry
  • Cutting hair
  • Conscious deep breathing 
  • Writing a journal
  • Stretching
  • Thinking about parents
  • Humming 
  • Meditation

Program Note from Maho Ogawa 6/18/2023


Researching the Japanese Tea Ceremony and its social role in the 16th century (the Tea Ceremony was the custom to calm Samurai warriors on the battlefield), I was curious about the everyday ritual to calm and heal, or even meet spiritual selves, in the daily lives of New Yorkers — since as you know, New York is also a battlefield. 

The actual rituals from local New Yorkers inspired the ten rituals presented in the Japanese Tea and Ritual Room. 

I feel heartfelt respect for each ritual's genuineness. Those are the most profound and genuine forms of choreography — a body movement that connects a body, spirit, subconscious, and conscious mind with the outside world. Thank you very much to those who kindly shared their private rituals for my research. 


Special Thanks

I would like to thank Clarinda, Maya, and Culture Push for encouraging me to start the bold idea of creating the installation with a survey with the general public, which opened and expanded my ideas beyond my imagination, collaborators Annie and Asa for their professionalism and creative input, Tea Master Yoshitsugu Nagano to introduce me to the world of the Japanese Tea Ritual, and 3rd Floor Brooklyn for their generous donation of the Japanese sweets that made the Tea Ceremony possible.



Annie Wang, Masanori Asahara


Supported by Culture Push, Center for Performance Research, and 3rd Floor Brooklyn