International District / Chinatown Branch : Teacup Donors

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International District / Chinatown Branch

Tea Cup Donors

The following people and companies donated teacups for Wellspring.
Follow the links below to read their stories:

  • Kyoko S. Anderson
  • Jina Park Baker
  • Nancy Burrill
  • Jiu-Fong Lo Chang
  • Melody Chang
  • Jean Chen for her mother, Wen Chiang Liu Chen
  • Donnie Chin, Sun May Co.
  • Choy's Herbs, Kai Chiu Choy, herbalist
  • Zuolie Deng, Deng's Studio
    and Art Gallery
  • Sibyl deHaan
  • Gerri Furuta
  • Gencer Gokeri, owner of Istanbul Imports, and his brother Ilker
  • Margaret Hammerstad
  • Chris Higashi
  • Aimee Hirabayashi
  • Mika Imori
  • Aki Suzuki Ito
  • John Jeannot
  • Ruth Kimura
  • Alan Kurimura
  • Asuka A. Lee
  • Lynn H. Lee
  • Linda Lin, Seattle Best Tea Co.
  • Frances Mar
  • New Century Chinese Classical Furniture Co., George Stapp
  • Robert Peng
  • Elaine Puderbaugh
  • Shirley Shimada
  • Shin Shin Enterprises Inc.
  • Jeremy O. Simer
  • Spring Café, Sung Lee
  • Tzeyue Sun
  • Jennifer Thames
  • Laura Tuck
  • Felicia Uhden
  • Pat Wakazuru
  • Shiao-Yen Wu
  • Ka lun Yuen (Karen)


Stories* about the donated cups:


Nancy Burrill
My first grade class makes tea cups each year as part of our Asian study. This was made by Daniel in 2004.


Asuka A. Lee
Porcelain tea bowl used in Japanese tea ceremony. Ivory, rounded, footed bowl with overglaze enamel painting of flowers and Japanese folding fans.

This Japanese teacup is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Its design, being wide and deep, is for the whisk to blend the tea and water well enough to create a smooth, delicious taste. My grandmother gave me this cup when I was about to leave for the United States as an exchange student.

I presented the tea ceremony for my host family and the Japanese class of the high school that I attended. Ever since, I have carried this teacup to many places to introduce the Japanese tea ceremony.

For the last two years, I have demonstrated the Japanese tea ceremony every quarter at Shoreline Community College for the Japanese Club. People are always eager to learn the philosophy that lies beneath the ceremony and I am always grateful to share my culture with them.


Robert Peng
Artist Robert Peng made this cup to symbolize a laughing mouth. "XiaoKou ChangKai" - constantly opens up a laughing mouth.


Jeremy O. Simer
I work for a small non-profit on Maynard Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the new library. We've been here for three years and every day I've felt fortunate to be surrounded by the rich cultural and historical legacy of Seattle's International District.

(This is) a teacup from Turkey, where my father is from. Though I don't know of any other Turks in the I.D., in some ways I've felt at home here. Many anthropologists believe Turks are distant cousins of the Japanese and Koreans, originally inhabiting Mongolia and later moving through Central and Western Asia. Among other cultural traits we share with East Asians, Turks revere elders, take off shoes indoors, and drink tea. Lots of tea, served all day, every day, in Turkish homes, shops and offices, a ubiquitous show of hospitality.

This crystal teacup has the typical flower shape seen in Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries. It's donated by Gencer Gokeri, owner of Istanbul Imports, and his brother, Ilker. I told them about your project and they cheerfully agreed to donate a cup and saucer. I'm delivering it with a teaspoon I bought two years ago in Istanbul, in a little shop at the end of the Silk Road.


Ka lun Yuen (Karen)
A blue handmade teacup. There are shapes of fish on the surface. I made this teacup at Green River Community College after I emigrated from Hong Kong to Seattle. Everything was strange to me, and difficult to me, because I did not know English. It looks like the two fish are swimming to a strange world, which is unclear and seems to lose protection. They are scared to swim forward slowly to adapt to a new world.


*Stories edited for length and clarity.


Special thanks to:

  • Bob Fisher and the Wing Luke Asian Museum for managing the collection and storage of the teacups
  • The donors who contributed cups
  • The individuals who contributed their energy and time to the project


NOTE: The Seattle Public Library, artist Rene Yung and the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs thank everyone who donated teacups for the art installation at the International District/Chinatown Branch. If you donated a cup and your name is not on this list, you may not have filled out a donor form. To be added to the list, please call Caroline Ullmann in the Library's communications department, at 206-615-1627.

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International District / Chinatown Branch
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