Sapporo Cafe & Tea House Collection
The Japanese Tea and Coffee cup image collection is an ongoing exploration of traditional Japanese Tea and Coffee cups that still exist and are utilized today; these cups are often collected and usually go unnoticed. The different designs and styles of the cups help to define and reveal the past and present cultural influences. The forms and styles of the Japanese cups vary with the specific types of teas and beverages, which usually reflects the original use that the cup was intended for.
I photographed this series on location over a period of 10 years on the island of Hokkaido in Sapporo, Japan at a customary Japanese Coffee and Tea House. Using the decor of the traditional Japanese style coffee shop, soft select focus and sepia tones I was able to create a mood that emphasizes the simple design elements and form of the cup. By photographing with B/W film, using soft natural lighting and long exposures I hoped to evoke a bygone era and pay homage and respect to the Japanese Coffee and Tea culture.
Update: January 2016 Mr. Yamaguchi closed the Sapporo Cafe and Tea House for personal health reasons and now this collection of photographs serves as a homage to a vanishing era. Unfortunately the cafe needed many updates, so the family constructed a parking lot where the cafe used to stand. I dedicate this series to, “the master” Mr. Yamaguchi whom had became my good friend that gave me the knowledge and understanding of the Japanese tea and beverages tradition which was the driving spirit and inspiration for this collection of photographs.