Join author and artist Neja Tomšič for an introduction, discussion, and celebration of her just-published art book, Opium Clippers, and her art project, Tea for Five: Opium Clippers.
Books will be on hand, Don't miss the chance for an autographed copy.
Opium Clippers by Neja Tomšič
Artist Book, published by Rostfrei Publishing
The artist book Opium Clippers is based on the series of homonymous tea ceremonies in which artist Neja Tomšič tells (true) stories about forgotten episodes in world history to a chosen audience while making and drinking tea. In the second half of the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries, the tea and opium trade was one of the most lucrative businesses in the world and was, at the time, completely controlled by the great European colonial powers and private corporations enjoying state protection.
The book Opium Clippers is a combination of images and texts through which the artist narrates stories based on documents while, at the same time, consciously transitioning from the factual to the symbolic level of this issue. The tea and opium trade refers to a time, in the past, when notions of politics, class, gender, religion, and culture as we know them now were being (trans)formed. It also refers to the present time, however, as this enormous industry is still at the heart of many economic and military superpowers, whose roots can be traced to tea and opium trade. Numerous successful financial, trade or transport companies still active today were established in the period of the tea and opium trade, often as a result of it. Based on short-term planning and quick profits, the tea and opium trade had profound consequences on many societies around the globe.