Every 20 years, I need to leave my natural surroundings. I went out to Taiwan when I was 20. When I was 40, my life had reached a bottleneck. At the time, I ran three classes in Taiwan, which was great. However, there would be days when I didn\'t even want to get up. I didn\'t want to do anything. I knew I had to leave again. I was willing to throw away my role of tea lover and started thinking about exploring all the possibilities in my life again. Everyone persuaded me to come to Beijing.
I think the very basis of tea-ism comes from China. So it\'s not very hard to revive the tea culture here and I am positive about the future. I strongly recommend Gaoshen Kettle, especially for the types of tea with a soft flavor and oolong tea. It ferments well and it’s interesting. I think it\'s important that you have the desire to brew some once you have the kettle. I also think there will be a trend of big kettles and big cups becoming popular in the north soon. When using a big kettle, the time it takes for the tea leaves to brew and the heat influences the strength of the flavour.
The earthquake that hit Taiwan in 1999 was a big shock to me. Before that, I was a tea lover who collected old tea wares from all sorts of places. After the earthquake, I realized that nothing is eternal. Since then I\'ve been trying to “speak out” in the north. Since 2000, I just practiced my tea related ideas in different spaces. Finally we came to the theater.
The weather in Taiwan is unpredictable. It\'s not a good idea to have outdoor tea parties. So we mainly focus on indoor spaces.
2004 was a turning point when a British director went to film in Taiwan. It was the first time I braced myself to ask Gu Zhenfu\'s daughter Gu Huaiqun to let us use her theater in Taipei. I brought a roll of cloth, 50 pots of lotuses and 50 tickets for sell. That was my first tea party inside a theater and it was very successful.
Since the Lotus Tea Party in 2004, I have been developing a series of theater tea parties. Such as a Lotus Tea Party or a Bamboo Tea Party. The most representative one was in 2008. We tried to explore what role a cup of tea could play in the age of economic depression. We used the Huashan Art District and we made 24 tables and chairs. Just like a concrete pipe, we represented the different temperatures of tea by employing a contemporary cold method and using cool colors.
We held 24 tea parties with more than 600 people involved. No one could forget that tea party including myself and Long Yingtai. She said she never thought that in Taipei, there would be a group of people like Zhang Dai, who lived such a delicate life. Since we couldn\'t make it come true in real life, we had to realize our dreams in the theater.
My friend Cai Yonghe said that I should come to Beijing because all that I could do in Taiwan had already been done there.