International Chawan Expo

Welcome on the official pages of the INTERNATIONAL CHAWAN EXPO project,
traveling exhibitions started in 2005. The project was started by Mr. Lou Smedts as an open non-profit platform for the known and unknown artists
who share the same passion, making and using of a Chawan (a tea cup used in the traditional eastern tea ceremonies).

In 2005 I thought that it was time to start a project with the most simple useful object, with little commercial value, a tea bowl. Nobody was waiting for a tea bowl exhibition in the museums the ceramists I contacted told me. So, I went to the museums to convince them that tea bowls are unique art objects. And surprisingly the directors listened and opened their doors for the project.
From there the Chawan adventure took a fast start, through several museums and gallery' s almost around the world. Much to the surprise of the participants who never expected such success. The train was running and as in all projects, people who liked my way of organizing stayed, the others left. The people who stayed learned to know each other and helped each other. Soon a close group of friends emerged from the project. Working together, trusting each other, in a high speed the exhibitions come and go, every time unique and successful. Thanks to the people who took the responsibility for the exhibitions in their own countries I could lean back a bit and focus on the future of the project, that will continue as long as museums and galleries are asking us.
If I put all the facts together, the most important data of this project are the friendship and the cooperation amongst the participants, all have grown in many ways. I would not have imagined harmony and cohesion in the group, assuming that all artists are individualists. It is this friendship and cooperation that ads the greatest value and respect for the project worldwide. This has to be Zen.

Lou Smedts

Follow the links below to visit pages that followed the expo's. On this pages you can find the information on the individual expo's
and links to the photography and catalogue files. Just click on the name of the country and it will lead you to the right place.
If you have any questions, please contact us at

Thank you very much and enjoy your stay on our pages.




© International Chawan Expo, 2015.