woosee is about ink art and tea culture. In the history ink has five tones or "wu-se", and the finest teapots are made of zisha clay or “wu-se” clay.
An artist, scholar and collector, Allison Liu is notable for her proficiency of art in both academic and market circles. She has authored many publications studying some of Asia's most celebrated artists, including Xu Beihong, Lim Hak Tai, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Yeo Hoe Koon. Her critical reviews on Song Dynasty paintings in the collections of the Palace Museum Beijing and Metropolitan Museum NY were published in 2021. She is also a distinguished speaker at institutions in Singapore and China. Allison is currently pursuing her PhD in Aesthetics at the Renmin University of China.
Allison’s artworks explore the artistic conception of “shanshui” or literally interpreted from “mountain and water” but far beyond that. The profound brush skills are deep rooted from Chinese classical paintings. The strong colors bring a renaissance to restore the magnificence of ancient times. And the dynamic expressions suggest a rich exploration in contemporary approach. The medium she applies of ink and colour on rice paper rarely presents a three-dimensional perspective on figurative paintings, as well as a rich visual effect that usually only brought over by oil paintings. In terms of the morphological expression, she advances with exquisite structure to more abstract compositions through deconstruction and reconstruction. The motif in the “Alienation” series paintings originated from shanshui, the subject is composed of shanshui, and shanshui is the source of inspiration and energy for the subject.
The cultural character of the expression, richness of the themes, modernity of the visual language, and agility and artistic conception of her artworks have attracted art connoisseurs from both the East and the West, and collector base is widespread across the Great China, Europe, North America, Middle east and ASEAN countries. Allison has been invited to exhibit at Shenzhen International Art Fair, China 70th Anniversary – Beijing International Ink Painting Invitational Exhibition, National Day Exhibitions Singapore, Shenzhen Technology University International Contemporary Art Exhibition, 100 Years of Singapore Art, solo exhibitions at the Art Stage, American Club Singapore and ONE°15 Yacht Club Singapore.
woosee is also the most avant-garde platform to integrate the finest tea with the finest zisha teapot. As a Provincial Ceramic Master in China, Allison holds numerous design patents of zisha teapots and curates other ceramic masters like Wang Xiaoli (b.1971, National Master of Arts and Crafts) and Wang Hui (b.1979, Provincial Master of Ceramic). Allison's teapots have won many top ceramic awards in China, such as the "Earth Award" in 2020, a Gold Medal and a Silver Award in National Ceramic Industry Competition in 2021, and 2023 respectively, and Elite Award in 2023 Baihe Cup China Arts and Crafts Design Innovation Competition. China.com under the State Council Information Office featured her teamwork with Wang Hui to create the award winning "Rock" teapot.
The teapots are made of high-quality zisha clay with strong plasticity and structural expressiveness. After more than ten years of natural fermentation and repeated tempering, a nano-scale micro-cobweb structure is formed inside the mud. The plasticity improves with time and the clay can be made into any complicated shape then. The raw clay is rich in minerals. So the zisha teapots visually present the colorful mineral particles of "five-color soil" after firing. The natural minerals are beneficial to health and could also strengthen the heat preservation of the teapot to ensure high temperature brewing of tea soup.
The unique double-hole air-permeable structure of the zisha clay helps the tea soup to contact with the air when brewing tea, just like the process of sobering up red wine, which greatly improves the taste of the tea soup. This special zisha clay is only mined from Yixing, Jiangsu, and mainly in Yixing Huanglong Mountain. As a protection for non-renewable and scarce mineral resources, Chinese government has shut down the zisha mines since 2004.
Only a very small portion of the mineral mined can be used to make teapots, practically less than 4% and the majority were daily-use pottery materials. Today the pure clay is mostly preserved in teapot masters’ backyards. Fired to a sufficient temperature of 1200°C, and 100 percent handmade, a master could only make up to 50 teapots every year and therefore such authentic handmade fine zisha teapots used to be circulated only in the circle.
Here at woosee, we collected the finest grade of Pu’er tea, first spring harvest 100 percent pure leaves from the ancient tree in famed villages and renowned mountains such as Bingdao, Banzhang and Yiwu. Some of the harvest in certain villages accounts for less than 100 trees, and the current trend is to zoom-in to the particular ancient trees while such concept of appreciating “pure leaves” generally did not exist until 2009. woosee makes the first efforts to integrate the finest tea with the finest teapots and makes everything here collectible and appreciable.
Monday - Saturday
12:00pm - 7:00pm
Sunday by appointment