Green garden for tea

2003, Venice, Italy


Venice is a labyrinth for people that are not Venetian. Private life is hidden deeply in complicated alleys. I stayed in Venice for one year in 2003. I spoke everyday conversation in Italian. However when I walked on streets, I felt as if I was one of the tourists. Unconsciously I felt I was not a member of the Venetian community.

Is there no space where local people and tourist can meet as equal? If I could choose a situation to accomplish this, I would choose teatime. In my tea garden everybody can join teatime as equal guests without any distinction about their point of origin.

The idea was to share a small garden and cultivate herb plants together with people living in Venice. The garden was opened for everybody for teatime. Visitors could take a few leaves from the plants for having teatime in the garden.

I started my project in March 2003. It was difficult to find a place for gardening in Venice. I looked for plant sitters who would take care of the plants at their home until I could find a garden. Around 40 people/families received their favourite plants from me and took care of it at home.

Finally, Il Giardino verde del té was chosen to be shown as part of "viverevenezia", a program for young artists in cooperation with La Biennale di Venezia, 50. Esposizione Internationale d'Arte. I cultivated a piece of land at Giardinetti della Biennale, Viale Garibaldi. Tea time was held for 40 days in June and July 2003.