He’s collaborated with Hermès, Kartell, and Swarovski. But Tokujin Yoshioka has recently come home. His Kou-An Glass Teahouse now stands outside Kyoto’s Shoren-in, a Buddhist temple declared a Japanese National Treasure.
When Yoshioka was planning the first iteration of the installation, back in 2011 at the “Biennale di Venezia,” he expressly designed the 170-square-foot structure’s frame of mirror-polished stainless steel and glass to be easily assembled and reassembled around the world. But it took years to secure the temple site, a thought-provoking choice because this work is actually less about the tea ceremony and more about the origins of Japanese culture. The exploration continues until spring 2016.