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Kunsthistorisches Institut

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Section for East Asian Art
Some Encounters, or the Footsteps of a Collector
Philippe A. F. Neeser
Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 18:00–19:00
University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich
Room RAA-G-01
The lecture will be held in English and is open to the public (no registration is necessary).
For questions, please contact the Section for East Asian Art History:
This event is generously supported by the Swiss-Japanese Society


One of the most cherished sentences in Japanese is surely ichigo ichi’e: each encounter
is unique: you seize the opportunity or let it go. These encounters not only happen
between human beings, they may also happen with objects. The collector knows that
sometimes he or she chooses the object, and that sometimes the object ch ooses the

In my decades of collecting, I have tried to keep an open eye at all times and in any
circumstances, nevertheless, I still have regrets. Nostalgia is probably a part of any
collector’s life. In this presentation, Philippe Neeser looks forward to sharing his many
experiences with you.

Philippe A. F. Neeser is in many ways the Swiss person of his generation with the
most profound cultural connections to Japan. Having lived in Japan for over thirty
years, he holds deep connections to the Imperial House and to the world of the tea
ceremony. A long-time practitioner of the tea ceremony, he has been given a tea
master name Sōsui by the grand master of the Urasenke and was the first westerner
allowed to give tea in front of the Daibutsu of the Tōdaiji Temple in Nara. In
November 2008 he received the Order of the Rising Sun. He is also a great collector
of Japanese art and has recently donated his collection of 400 tea-ceremony-related
objects to the Fondation Baur; he is presently writing a catalogue of these objects.

Covid-19 related requirements: Please note that 2G conditions apply to this event.
Access to the lecture is only permitted to persons with a certificate that confirms full
recovery or vaccination. In addition, all attendees are obliged to wear masks at all