Gourd Wine Set
The gourd represents a vessel and a container that holds water and life. The Gourd Wine Set commemorates this auspicious symbol into a piece that honors a Lunar New tradition of providing offerings to one's family ancestors. Food is set out on plates, and rice wine is offered in small ceramic cups. Tomie Arai draws from this tradition and celebrates Asian diasporic joy by integrating her interpretation of feminine porcelain motifs as a nod to Chinatown's legacy of strong femmes. We offer this wine set not only as an homage to the Lunar New Year ritual of honoring ancestors but also as a way to cultivate connections with each other in fluidity and joy.
Tomie Arai is a public visual artist who works and lives in New York City. Her work examines issues of cultural equity and explores the relationship between memory, art, and history. Through the use of family stories, shared memories, and archival photographs, Arai constructs pages of 'living history' that reflect the layered and complex narratives that give meaning to the places we live in. In 2015, she co-founded The Chinatown Art Brigade, an intergenerational collective that centers art and culture to support community-led campaigns around issues of gentrification and displacement.