Tea Mobile is a project part of the Summer Residency 2019 initiated by academie Minerva Groningen, the Netherlands. The residencie includes four artists from Hanoi, Vietnam and two alumni from academie Minerva. For one month they had the city and the school as a platform to get to know each other and the surrounding, to collaborate, make work and showcase the results. My role in this residency was projectleader and host as well as artist. Together with Giang Nguyen en Rafiq Bassova we created Tea Mobile, a mobile teashop inspired by the teashops in Vietnam.
Tea Mobile is a small, pink cart that carries around six blue stools, a teapot, a thermos with hot water, tea from Azerbeijan and some snacks. This cart travels around the city of Groningen, and will become a tea stall in different public spaces in the city. Once installed we inivte people to come and join us for a cup of tea and a conversation. This conversation is started with the question: “how was your day?”. Some people would stay for fifteen minutes talking about their day, others would spend two hours with us talking about their life. The design of Tea Mobile is inspired by T-Mobile, the telephone company. Instead of offering an online platform to connect, we offer a physical platform to connect and network. As in the teashops in Vietnam Tea Mobile is a space to meet, share and drink tea.
The Dutch culture is very individual and private, nothing like the Vietnamese culture where everything happens out in the public, together. By creating a space that is so common in Vietnam in Groningen, we create an unexpected environment where new things can happen, people can meet who otherwise wouldn’t meet and we can listen, share and learn from each other.
Click here to read more about the residency