Mr. Sea, Living Porcelain Sculpture — Bold Experiment by China’s Artist Geng Xue

Written by Yuqing Yang

 

Geng Xue is a rising young multi-media artist born in 1980s in China. She majored in sculpture and graduated from China’s most privileged Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Geng Xue never ceases to innovate and experience with new media such as water color painting, filming, but her favorite medium is still ceramics.  She manages to create a new world and a new sense of aesthetic with ceramics.   

Different from last few generations of artists, her intention in choosing ceramics is to demonstrate many hidden aesthetic sides of porcelains. Drawing inspirations from ancient Chinese mythologies and classical stories, Geng Xue constructs a context for her works. The rare combination of translucent porcelains and dream-like classics somehow creates infinite room for imagination and leaves the audience in a fantasy world.   

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Left: Geng Xue’s biography; Right: a representative work of Geng Xue – Cadifu’s Mother, 2012

 

Geng Xue has held solo exhibitions over the globe. In one of her solo exhibitions at Klein Sun Gallery, New York – Mount Sumeru (the center of physical and spiritual universes in Buddhist cosmology), most of the sculptures feature different body parts such hands and heads as part of their ethereal surroundings. In this surreal world, porcelain as the main medium conveys a sense of both fluidity and flexibility.

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Ocean Roar, 2016

With previous achievements, Geng Xue went on and created the first porcelain film “Mr. Sea” (海公子Hai Gongzi in Chinese). It was a revolutionary combination of film and porcelain. The original Chinese story it was based upon was from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio written in 1740, a collection that created an eerie world full of miraculous happenings.

Geng Xue intends to emphasize the dreamlike quality of a scholar’s erotic encounter with a snake spirit on a remote island in such an uncanny and strange literal context. She has combines it perfectly with the coldness and fluidity of ceramics and the camera movement.

 

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One scene from Mr.Sea; “It is not merely a ghost story.” Commented by Geng Xue

Geng Xue believes in a kind of inherent quality of ceramics, which she calls 瓷性 cixing. And the ancient Chinese literature with well-built aesthetics is the ideal channel to embody this nature of ceramics. In the artist’s understanding, the literary beauty consists of half other-worldliness and half elegance, which are the very essence of the Chinese culture.

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Check out the following video for a full trailer of the porcelain film, “Mr. Sea”!

 

 

 

 


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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The History of Chinese Ceramics in 5 Minutes

Written by Yuqing Yang

The most well-known Chinese porcelain in the West is the blue-and-white porcelain. Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin has a “Porcelain Cabinet” decorated by the finest blue-and-white porcelains. Not so many people, however, are familiar with other forms of Chinese ceramics. In this case, you are missing out on a lot, because they should surprise you even more! So let’s embark on a time travel and explore this timeless beauty in history!

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The Porcelain Cabinet in Charlottenbug, Berlin, completed in 1706

To get to know the development of ceramics, the first question is – how were they made in the first place? The basic formula for ceramics is stones + high temperature (above 1200 ℃  ) + glaze, all of which would not be achieved without advanced industrial developments. For example, in early times such as Shang and Western Zhou dynasties (c. 1600 – 771 BC), the semi-celadons discovered only had some basic characteristics of modern ceramics.

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Proto-porcelain

After 1600-1700 years of trials and errors, in Eastern Han period (25 – 220 AC), the area called Shangyu (上虞) located in eastern China became the origin of modern ceramics. These ceramics were better manufactured and characterized by a layer of glass-like celadon glaze.

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In Song dynasty (960–1279 AC), the ceramic production reached its peak, and the techniques varied region from region. Among all, there were five main kilns () – Jun, Ge, Guan, Ru and Ding. Each of them produced ceramics of its own distinct style. For example, the potteries from Jun kiln were known for their changing colors and nature-and-animal-like appearances, and those from Ru kiln usually had light-colored glazes.

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Lotus-like warming bowl from Ru Kiln
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Rose begonia-like purple-glazed flowerpot from Jun Kiln

Since the ancient time, ceramics had gone through phases of glazing. Eventually, not only the color spectrum was expanded rapidly, colors could also be painted both under and over the glaze. For instance, in Ming dynasty (1368 –1644 AC), the famous blue-and-white porcelain for decoration was colored under the glaze.

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With the previous achievements, in Qing dynasty (1616 – 1912 AC), another material, enamel, was introduced in the manufacturing process from abroad. The patterns and images on these Faience ceramics usually came from poems and paintings. Every detail was taken great care of by the most talented painters residing in the imperial palace. These porcelains were mostly small objects such as bowls, plates, tea sets, etc., which were indeed the first-rate Chinese ceramics in history.

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So how do you like this brief introduction of ceramics? Let me know by commenting below! If you still want to know more about this fascinating history, you can surely benefit from the following video:

 

 

 


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

The Blue and White Porcelain- A Pearl of the Porcelain World

The Blue and White Porcelain, as its name suggests, is a form of pottery which features a white background embellished with a blue design. The Blue and White Porcelain, the treasure among Chinese porcelains, is characterized by refined and white quality, simple but elegant designs, bright colors, and rich pattern decoration. It also boasts artistic charms of Chinese Ink and Wash Painting, with both practical and ornamental functions, and suits both refined and popular tastes. Blue and White Porcelain bears very high value in terms of artistic appreciation, renowned both at home and abroad as “a pearl of the porcelain world”.

Blue and White Porcelain
blue and white porcelain

Technique

Blue-white porcelain actually belongs to color-glazed porcelain and the coloring agent used is called cobalt oxide. First, using cobalt oxide, paint the unbaked mould, then apply a layer of translucent glaze over it and bake it at 1,300 degrees Celsius. The cobalt oxide will be reduced under the high temperature into a blue hue, which will be very bright and durable without poisonous lead. Each piece of monochrome-glazed porcelain has a single bright color with an exquisite design. A very good mastery of controlling temperature changes and content composition is required. Blue-white porcelain is renowned as the “ever-lasting blue flower.”

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History

The history of Blue and White porcelain in China can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), but those were only very primitive blue and white products at that time.

blue and white porcelain

Up to Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the manufacturing of Blue and White Porcelain went into maturity. Blue-white porcelain of the Yuan Dynasty is large, with thick roughcast. Generally, the works include big bottles, pots, bowls and plates, with the traditional flavor of the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. Due to the underdeveloped techniques, there are two interfaces on the body and several veins inside the body. The roughcast is not as smooth as that of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the glaze is thicker due to more iron in the raw glaze materials.

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was reputed as the “Golden Age” of the Blue and White Porcelain production. The blue-white porcelain became increasingly popular, and since the 14th century, manufacturers have shipped blue-white porcelain to world markets.

blue and white porcelain

The porcelain reached its peak in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Its thin, translucent quality and exotic motifs made it very valuable throughout Europe and the colonies, ranking first among blue-white porcelain nationwide.

In the 17th century, blue and white porcelain became popular in Europe, and pottery manufacturers began large-scale efforts to produce pieces that closely resembled Chinese ware. However, these manufacturers lacked both the raw materials — namely kaolin clay — as well as the technical knowledge necessary to reproduce the Chinese style exactly. Consequently, they devised a new production technique which suited their resources and abilities. Their pieces featured stamped or stenciled rather than hand-painted designs, and utilized an opaque white glaze to hide the dark hue of European clay. Some European manufacturers of blue and white ware, particularly those in the Delft region of the Netherlands as well as parts of England, achieved a widespread popularity which continues into the 21st century.

Home of the Blue and White Porcelain, Jingdezhen

The major producer of blue-white porcelain is Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province of China. Since Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties, Jingdezhen had become the main producing area of Blue and White Porcelains.

blue and white porcelain

In 1979 Jingdezhen blue-white porcelain won a national golden prize and in 1985 it was honored with three gold medals at international fairs held in Leipzig, Brno, etc. Since then, the name “Jingdezhen Blue-white Porcelain” has spread far and wide. By far, it is a top product in the porcelain business, boasting the most prizes and highest standards.

The Blue and White Porcelain of unparalleled elegancy has not only been the rare curios appreciated by the nobility, high officials, scholars and the wealthy, but also has been the “emissary” of cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. Since the 18th Century, China’s Blue and White Porcelain has been introduced to North-East Asia, South-East Asia, Mid-Asia, Europe and West Africa either through the sea or the Silk Road, and has become the art treasure shared and appreciated by the world. As time goes by, the collection value of Blue and White Porcelain is attracting more and more attention. by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————–   We co-founded Interact China in 2004, specialize in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic people and Han Chinese. With direct partnership with artisans, designers, crafters and tailors, along with our professional team, plus 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected aesthetic products sourced across China, in reliable quality at reasonable price, with personalized and hearted service, as always.   So far we carry 2000+ goods covering 10 categories in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Musical Instruments, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks, Painting Arts, Textile Arts and Carving Arts. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and have served customers from all over the world.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!