On April 27, I went to Shanghai to bring my “Kamakura-Red Bamboo” Teapot, which was selected for The 2010 International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Teapot Art, Shanghai, China.
On the 28th we first went to Ge Jun Pottery Arts Center. Mr. Ge Jun is a researcher and the director of the Yixing Ceramic Research Center of Chinese Culture, especially for the Purple Teapot. He was one of the sponsors of the event. All our teapots were exhibited in his Arts Center. The exhibition holds pots from 100 potters from 100 countries of five continents around the world. It is impossible to show all the pots on my blog. They published a catalogue and I will show you just a few.
The white pots are from Antonella Cimatti, Italy; the blue and red teapots are from Christina Wiese, Austria; and the lower teapots are from Evgenija Portnoj Kostic, Serbia. A YOU TUBE movie from the exhibition.
Standing with Evgenija in front of Ge Jun’s Art Center.
Then we had the opening ceremony in the morning. To the left is the curator of the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum; in the middle is Mr. Ge Jun; and to the right is Linda, the translator. A YOU TUBE movie from part of the opening.
Two ladies were showing how to make a Yixing Purple teapot. It is incredibly precise and fine and perfect work and takes a couple of hours to make and all by hand. A YOU TUBE movie of a little part of the making of such a teapot.
In the afternoon we went to the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum which is a model of the architectural style of the Renaissance of France. The museum has some beautiful art and artisans show how it is made.
A group picture in front of the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum.
Next day we went on a bus all the way to Yixing city. We started to get to know each other better, had some interesting discussions and sang songs together. Watch the YOU TUBE movie.
Yixing is China’s pottery capital. The Yixing clay dates back to the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) when purple clay was first mined around Lake Taihu in China. The finished stoneware, which is used for teaware and other small items, are usually red or brown in color. The clays are very cohesive and can be formed by slip molding, coil forming, or most commonly, slab forming. They are known as Purple Sand ware, and are typically unglazed. The most famous wares made for Yixing clay are the teapots.
First, we went to the China Ceramic Cultural Institute, Research Center for Purple Culture of the purple teapot. It was interesting with some beautiful work. We went to a factory and saw students working on their teapots.
Next, we saw the “Qianshu Dragon Kiln” in Qianshu village, Dingshu town, a state protected historic town. It is 43.3 meters long, 1.55 meters high, 3 meters wide outside and 2.3 meters wide inside. The kiln was built in the Ming Dynasty (1400 AD) and is being used since then. Coal is the most common fuel being used for firing this kiln.
After that we investigated a four-story building what will become the new “Pot” Museum. Ge Jun had put a lot of his sculptures and from his students on the first floor. Quite interesting.
The last outing for the day was the Yixing Ceramics Museum. It is the first ceramic museum established in China and has an abundant collection of exhibits. Fully revealing Yixing’s long history of pottery production and splendid pottery culture for more then 7000 years from the middle of Neolithic Age up to the present time.
A Celadon Vase. The production of Celadon in Yixing began in the West Zhou Dynasty 11 Centuries BC. The textures of Yixing Celadons is fine, its glaze is crystal clear like ice and green with blue tint like jade. Their shapes are elegant and the decoration is grand.
The last day, we first went to the Shanghai Museum with some beautiful nice and interesting arts.
Then we went to the Bund of Shanghai, an old part of the city with wonderful old architecture and their famous roof architecture and of course now many shops and eateries for tourists. Also, some performers like on the YOU TUBE movie.
After this visit we returned to Ge Jun Pottery Art Center for a last look at the show and the presentation of the Award and catalogue.