This morning we started out with a trip to the "Imitated Antique Porcelain Factory" otherwise known as the "Bigware Factory." Here we observed the production of enormous ceramic vases- reaching heights of 18 feet and more! The process includes a large wheel and several pounds of clay with three to four people collaborating on the throwing process. These pieces are often thrown in separate parts to retain structural integrity around the neck through the firing process. The kilns used to fire the pieces are quite large to accommodate the enormous size.
In the afternoon we visited the Pottery Workshop and Experimental Ceramic Studio in the town of Jingdezhen. Bai Xu, the Director of Residents, gave us a brief history of the workshop and arranged a short tour. The workshop and studio were set up to give ceramic artists the opportunity to make productions on a small scale. There is also space for Chinese artists to experiment with their art through interaction with other artists and having a space to work.
We then visited the gallery of contemporary ceramic artist Gen Dao Fu. Gen Dao Fu works with blue and white painting on porcelain surfaces. He explained to us how he was inspired to do contemporary work with traditional techniques. He described the importance of maintaining traditional techniques in the Jingdezhen region, but also felt that self-expression was an interesting aspect of his work. He said that it was really exciting for him to use old techniques in a new, innovative way; this provides him with a connection to his past but also a way to express himself. Please visit his website for more information on his work and his colleagues: www.iceblueart.com.
Professor Gary Erickson, Macalester College, Art Department-Ceramics and three students received an 2009 ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Fellowship in support of a 24-day research trip to study contemporary Chinese art. Students Eartha Bell (Art History), Christina Park (Art History) and Pei-Hsuan Wang will be conducting their personal research by interviewing gallery personal, artists, professors and students. The trip will begin June 15th for five days in Jingdezhen, The Porcelain City of China hosted by the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute, then seven days in Beijing to see contemporary art ga... full info