As one of China’s oldest traditions, dating back over 2,000 years, the practice of the art of incense is a spiritual discipline once reserved for scholars and high monks, Emperors and dignitaries of the court.
The Feuerle Collection is the first art museum to present the theme of Chinese incense culture and the only place in the world where the incense ceremony is introduced as an artistic practice, part of a curatorial work in dialogue with, and surrounded by, ancient and contemporary art.
The Feuerle Incense Ceremony was created by Désiré Feuerle, collector and co-founder of The Feuerle Collection, as a contemporary yet authentic version of this ancient discipline. While being related to the traditional knowledge of Chinese Incense Masters, The Feuerle Incense Ceremony is an unprecedented art performance for which all details have been originally conceived by Désiré Feuerle. It has been recognized by Master Wang Chun-Chin, the most important scholar and master of the traditional Imperial Chinese incense ceremony, who was present at the press presentation when the Incense Room officially opened.
The Incense Room was designed by the collector together with architect John Pawson. It is surrounded by the Lake Room, beautifully illuminated Khmer sculptures and contemporary artworks by Nobuyoshi Araki, Adam Fuss and Anish Kapoor.
The performance involves the use of precious incense, such as Green Qinan, Bhutan Qinan and Hainan Agarwood, and explores the relationship between the scents, the senses, the human spirit and nature, revealing the high level of sophistication to which Chinese culture arrived.
Integral to the ceremony are a series of incense tools, an incense table set and stools, as well as specially designed clothing for both the master and guests, such as silken coats and ceremony shoes, which are the result of an extensive international research project based on the vision and taste of Désiré Feuerle.
You can find more information on the history of incense in China here.
The Feuerle Incense Ceremony lasts for approximately 50 minutes and can be attended by a maximum of four people. Please note that the entrance to the Incense Room is not part of the regular accompanied visit to The Feuerle Collection. The Feuerle Incense Ceremony has to be booked in advance.
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