Shall we have some tea...

Collaborative exhibition with I-Yen Chen

When we chat about trivial things, or gossip, we always have biscuits and tea sitting at the kotatsu (a traditional Japanese blanket tea table). Our talk meanders over relationships, over clothes, over food. But this is also how we talk about history. 

We eat and chat at the same time. There are always unnoticed crumbs that trickle and fall. When we collect those falling pieces and pick them up,


They become history.


I-Yen Chen and Yumemi Hiraki, upon meeting and bonding in Melbourne, found fascination in the tensions and softness between their cultural backgrounds. Their invisible yet entangled family relationship guided the curiosity and playfulness in this project, utilising the domesticity of this particular gallery to embody a wider historical scene that focuses on the individuals’ life-story.

This collaboration was an attempt to convey the grand scale of history through a soft and creative language. After all, while history is a great wind that blows through time, it’s also trivial like crumbs that fall while we chat.

Taking advantage of the apartment-like gallery space, both artists, Yumemi Hiraki and I-Yen Chen created spatial installations representing a ‘home setting’, hoping to invite the viewers to experience history by joining them for a tea and a chat around the kotatsu.​

​Special thanks to Multicultural Arts Victoria and The Ownership Project for making this show happen.

Photo credit: Frazer McBride

Reported by LIMINAL Magazine: