The reason why this element is frequently lacking in artwork depicting Asian tea art is because Chinese artists believe that drawing the napkin would cause bad energy to be trapped within the folds of the painted napkin rather than allowing it to be released into the universe.
Japanese tea art, as depicted by famous artist Katsushika Hokusai in his work 'A Pot of Tea and Keys', is also considered an art in Japanese culture and has strong Zen Buddhist connotations. Out of respect for this practice, Asian tea artists typically depict their tea art in a contemplative and peaceful method, such as in the series 'Sakura Tea' by Krista Sewell.
The important difference between Asian tea art and its Western counterparts is the purpose behind making the artwork. Western artists would create art for aesthetic reasons, but Eastern artists had a different agenda. For them, paintings were traditionally used as tools for enriching the spirit and mind of those who saw it. Because Asian cultures traditionally used tea as a medicine for curing common ills in ancient times, it had the same effect when placed on canvas. In the same way that drinking tea would cure earthly, Asian tea art is meant to help cure the illnesses of the spirit and promote balance and well-being within the viewer.