Newsletter No. 497

08 # 4 9 7 | 0 4 . 0 5 . 2 0 1 7 叶荣枝先生 Mr. Ip Wing-chi • 新亚书院经济系(1975)、艺术系(1977)校友 Alumnus of Economics (1975) and Fine Arts (1977), New Asia College • 乐茶轩创办人、中国茶叶学会理事及香港茶道协会会长 Founder of LockCha, Council Member of China Tea Science Society, and Chairman of Hong Kong Tea Association 如何与茶结缘? 我毕业后在中大中国文化研究所任助理研究员,主要研究古物。当时 罗桂祥博士想找人研究一批紫砂茶壶,馆长委派我负责,我于是在1979年 在中大举办了香港首个茶具展览,自此与茶结缘。有次与罗博士赴宜兴参 观紫砂工厂,接触了顾景舟、朱可心等紫砂壶大师,看到美轮美奂的茶壶, 眼界大开。可惜当时宜兴茶壶不能直接外销,我俩几经波折,终于联系上 南京国营出口公司,向工厂订了一批紫砂茶壶,并于1981年在香港的亚洲 艺术节展出,时任南京博物院副院长宋伯胤及顾景舟皆有出席这盛会。其 后,我跟罗博士成立公司管理这批紫砂壶,更在1984年活化了建于1845年 的三军总司令官邸,把它改建为香港茶具文物馆。 你致力举办活动推广中国文化与茶道,背后的推动力在哪? 这与新亚书院的中国文化氛围有关。我当年有幸亲炙牟宗三教授、唐君 毅教授、 饶宗颐 教授等国学名宿,也曾拜访陈蕾士老师,在他的办公室品 尝潮州功夫茶。在众多儒雅学者的薰陶下,我自然与中国文化结下不解 缘。唐教授曾慨叹中华民族失去凝聚自身的力量,这令我萌生对中国文化 的承担感。茶是文化的载体,我乐意让更多人藉此细味中国文化。推动茶 文化之路着实不易,我在1991年创立乐茶轩,2003年开办金钟的茶馆时 遇上沙士,差点破产,幸得多人仗义相助,安渡难关。孟子有云:「得道多 助」,我们只要做事正面,自然会得到多方支持。 茶怎样承载中国文化? 茶是中国人不可或缺的生活,自然承载中国文化之种种。以潮州功夫茶为 例,一般主客四人却只有三个杯子,这就蕴含了礼让以及儒家长幼有序的 精神。主人家会亲自泡茶奉客,开火煮水后,将茶叶放入紫砂壶,三个茶 杯「品」字形排列,待水开即冲烫杯壶,同时冲洗茶叶。斟茶时,主人提 壶巡回穿梭三杯之间,最后还得把「余津」依次一点一滴点入三杯之中, 此过程称为「关公巡城」和「韩信点兵」。大家揖让一番后,主人再依长 幼次序以茶奉客。 你钻研出太极茶礼,请介绍个中理念。 中国文化万事互通,人的学问也是综合的学问,与现今分门别类的思考 方式不同。茗茶以外,我喜爱书法和太极,都有助我触类旁通,对生命感 悟甚深。例如书法讲求持笔中正、平腕等等,我初学时,却发现持笔中正 时,腕便不平;腕一平,笔却会歪。我后来学习太极,练习抱球动作时, 发现手臂一张开便容易平腕。后来很多茶友发现泡茶的姿势令他们手腕 痛,我灵机一动,构思出太极茶礼,将太极的动作融入斟茶的动作,使人 泡茶时坐得舒服,手腕不会受伤。  茶道与茶艺有何不同? 茶道滋养人心,一盏热茶助人放慢步伐,在静谧中自省修身,体会无处不 在的「道」;茶艺则是泡茶与饮茶的技艺。 品茶是慢活,都市人生活步伐紧凑,要劝服年轻人踏出第一步,有 何心得? 要年轻人放慢步伐的确不易,教育是切入点。我现正与新亚学长 陈万雄 博士筹备成立中国茶文化学院,冀为本地大学及专上学院的通识课程教 授茶文化,让年轻人体味茗茶乐。 要在中大选一处赏茶的好地方,你会选哪里? 身为新亚人,我必然选天人合一亭,在此「与天地共饮」。「天人合一」是 中国文化的核心,天地人三者在自然界是互通的,放下操控,回归自然与 天地连结,才能安顿自己,觅得立身处世之道。 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce Photo by ISO Staff How did you and tea meet? After graduation, I worked as an assistant researcher at CUHK’s Institute of Chinese Studies. The curator assigned me to study some purple clay teapots when Dr. Lo Kwee-seong approached us for a teapot project. In 1979, I organized the first tea ware exhibition in Hong Kong on CUHK campus. Dr. Lo and I visited the purple clay teapot factory in Yixing, met masters such as Mr. Gu Jingzhou and Mr. Zhu Kexin, and saw many beautiful teapots. Those couldn’t be directly imported from Yixing. We thereby searched far and wide for an importer and eventually found a state-owned export enterprise in Nanjing, resulting in the display of some exquisite teapots at Hong Kong’s Asia Arts Festival in 1981. I was particularly happy to have the honourable presence of the then Associate Director of the Nanjing Museum, Mr. Song Boyin, and the teapot master Mr. Gu Jingzhou at the event. Afterwards, Dr. Lo and I founded a company to manage the exhibits. In 1984, we even converted the Flagstaff House built in 1845 into the Museum of Tea Ware. What drives you to the promotion of Chinese culture and the Tao of Tea? The cultural ambience at New Asia College plays a crucial role in it. I was fortunate enough to have been lectured by renowned scholars such as Prof. Mou Zongsan, Prof. Tang Junyi, Prof. Jao Tsung-I and Mr. Chen Leishi. I enjoyed my bonding with Mr. Chen as we sometimes shared some Chaozhou kungfu tea in his office. Since then I have never stopped from embracing Chinese culture and should naturally want to contribute to its preservation and promotion. Drinking tea is a good conduit to help more people appreciate our culture. The road to promote tea culture has never been easy. I founded LockCha in 1991. When I opened the tea house in Admiralty in 2003, I was driven to the edge of bankruptcy because of SARS, only to be bailed out by some helping hands. The experience confirmed my belief in a saying by Mencius: A just cause enjoys abundant support. How is tea a conduit of Chinese culture? Tea drinking is part of life in Chinese culture and has deeper meanings. Take Chaozhou kungfu tea as an example. Traditionally a host would serve three guests in most instances, but only three small cups are prepared. The Confucian values of deference and respect to elders can be seen here. The tea brewing is solely prepared by the host. After boiling water, the host will put some tea leaves in the purple clay teapot and arrange the three cups in a triangle. The teapot, cups and leaves are rinsed when the hot water is ready. Afterwards, the host pours the tea into the cups evenly in a circular manner. The tea will be poured into every cup until the last drop. After a ceremony of invitation and deference within the group, the host will serve the guests according to seniority. You’ve combined Tai Chi with tea. Tell us about it. The Chinese believe in universal interconnectedness. A holistic approach is preferred to compartmentalized thinking. In addition to tea appreciation, I also like Chinese calligraphy and Tai Chi. They help develop my lateral thinking. The Chinese calligraphy brush, for instance, should be vertically held with the wrist in a suspended position. When I was still a beginner, I couldn’t maintain a suspended wrist while keeping the brush vertically. I learnt Tai Chi later on. To my surprise, the ball-holding posturing required by Tai Chi enabled me to keep a suspended wrist. Many friends complained that tea brewing hurt their wrists. I immediately thought of integrating Tai Chi with tea brewing. Now, those who practice this routine can enjoy tea brewing without hurting their wrists. What’s the difference between the Tao of Tea and the Art of Tea? The Tao of Tea is soul-nourishing. A cup of hot tea slows us down, helps us reflect in tranquility and comprehend the Way or Tao. The Art of Tea concerns the craft of brewing and tasting. Tea tasting is slow living. Isn’t it anathema to city dwelling and the young generation? It’s not easy for the young generation to slow down. Education is a path to it. I’m now working with Dr. Chan Man-hung on founding the Chinese Tea Culture Institute. We hope to offer general education courses on tea culture in tertiary institutions in order to initiate the young to tea appreciation. If you want to enjoy a nice cup of tea at CUHK, where will you go? As a member of New Asia College, I’d undoubtedly choose the Pavilion of Harmony to drink to the heaven and the earth. The concept of the ‘Union of Man and Nature’ is core to Chinese culture: The heaven, the earth and humans are interconnected. We should give up the sense of control and connect with nature, so as to make peace with ourselves and discover the way of living.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NDE2NjYz