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Painted Ceramics : Contemporary Treasures by Jingdezhen's National Masters from the Lamda Foundation
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This catalogue is published to coincide with the University Museum and Art Gallery exhibition Painted Ceramics: Contemporary Treasures by Jingdezhen's National Masters from the Lamda Foundation. Often celebrated as the most Chinese of all art forms, the tradition of porcelain making and decoration in China is well known and exhaustively studied. Lesser known in this millennia-long history are the artworks by twentieth-century national masters who have continued their country's ceramic practice and achieved treasures representative of their heritage.Today, Jingdezhen has grown from an artists' town into an important modern industrial base in Jiangxi Province. Its ceramic industry is flourishing and it has become varied in its scope, producing daily-use porcelain household wares, construction and electronic ceramics, as well as—in comparatively small quantities—ceramic art. This exhibition introduces Jingdezhen as a manufacturing site for artifacts, and it focuses on individual talents and the fame of a few master craftsmen, as well as their history and the uninterrupted production of unique high-quality porcelain objects of inherent beauty. The mastery and endurance of individual painters has left us an array of vessel shapes, compositions, and iconographic subject matter that is, at times, both historic and contemporary.The most famous types of porcelain decoration from Jingdezhen are famille-rose, linglong, blue-white and colour-glazed porcelains. All of these—in particular famille-rose, linglong and blue-white creations—continue to be mastered and, at times, re-interpreted by the national masters of our era. Displayed for the first time in public, these forty-four artworks by thirty-eight ceramicists represent the strength and ability of Jingdezhen's artistic community through changing times.