SOTOROJI #0 (2020)



Tea ceremony practitioners have long been enamored by the profound beauty captured in ink brush paintings and have attempted to express this vision in tea rooms and ceremonies. Tea rooms and their gardens are constructed to steadily encourage visitors to shed the impurities of this world to enter a world of the ethereal. The initial space, an outer garden known as the soto-roji, lies between the roji-guchi (entrance) and the chu-mon, a gate dividing the secular world from the profound. The guests attending the tea ceremony are to sweep away the dust of the world and immerse themselves in the world of the ethereal, to play in a higher dimension.
The TEA-ROOM, an art collective that expresses the objects, processes, and spirituality that make up the world of the tea ceremony with contemporary interpretations and elements, considers the symbol of the secular as “money” and created an installation work that expresses the outer grounds using QR codes, which are rapidly being used as a payment method worldwide.
The entire airport is seen as one large tea house, and the landing concourse for international flights is interpreted as an outer garden, the soto-roji, a process by which visitors from abroad can sweep away the worldly dust and immerse themselves in Japanese spirituality.
By presenting more than 120,000 QR codes, an overwhelming number of codes that one would never see in one’s lifetime, the artwork appears ironic to the “shopping spree” visitor and suggests a shift from the materialistic to the spiritual.
The subtle sizes of the QR codes create an optical illusion, and when viewed from a certain distance, the fusuma paintings, which were used to entertain guests in ancient times, come into view. The artwork expresses a vast and profound spiritual world behind the surface, which cannot be seen up close, but emerges only when the entire structure is viewed from a bird’s eye view.
The artwork was created with cooperation from Nagoya City, based on the sliding door pictures “Bamboo grove with leopards and tigers,” “Pine, maple and camellia,” and “Musk cat” (designated as Important Cultural Assets) from Nagoya Castle’s Hommaru Palace. Twelve panels drawn with QR codes using sliding door drawings of important cultural properties were installed at equal intervals in the international landing concourse of Centrair, Central Japan International Airport, lasting more than 36 meters, and displayed for one year.
茶の湯の世界を構成する事物や精神性を現代の手法で表現するアート集団「The TEA-ROOM」は、世俗の象徴を「貨幣」ととらえ、全世界的に急速に決済方法として利用が進むQRコードを素材に、外露地を表現したインスタレーション作品を制作。

Editions / Versions


Artist: The TEA-ROOM (Ryuta Aoki, Soryo Matsumura)
Producer & Director: Ryuta Aoki
Project Management: Keita Uno
Exhibition Design: Jiro Endo
Graphic Design: Takeshi Kawano, Sosuke Sugiura
Web Design: Takao Neko
Production Support: MINIMA
Special Thanks: Nagoya City, dsgarage

Past Exhibitions:

Mar. 2020 – Feb. 2021: Chubu Centrair International Airport

Related Links: