The Opium Clippers
Get ready for afternoon tea. Drops of resin migrate along the immature poppy seed. They contain alkaloids, primarily morphine. Taking opium produces a feeling of euphoria, a calm ecstasy, an absence of pain that narrows the pupils. Like the poppy seed, the fragility, purity and subtlety of a hand-painted porcelain tea set carry a sweeping story of colonisation, capitalism and power. Like opium, tea sets sail on great ships, leaving its homeport to plough the seven seas. There is a story concealed in every reality. Through narration and illustrations on teacups and teapots, Neja Tomšič transforms the audience's experience into a multi-layered event. Miniature paintings express the great stories of the 18th and 19th centuries. Just as tea encounters opium, the spectator encounters history. All you have to do is sit down, narrow your pupils, listen to the fragile voice of porcelain and let yourself be guided through the tea ceremony.
Neja Tomšič is a performer, poet, writer, and adept storyteller, whose multidisciplinary approach to art extends into the visual arts and photography. She searches for stories from the past and experiments with their various narratives. She is a member of the Nonument Group, a collective of artists who work to revive forgotten architectural monuments of the 20th century through art.