- New Perspectives on the Art of Ceramics in China: A Selection of Papers Read at a Symposium on the Art of Ceramics in China, held at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989 (review)
- China Review International
- University of Hawai'i Press
- Volume 1, Number 2, Fall 1994
- pp. 168-170
- View Citation
- Additional Information
168 China Review International: Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1994 George Kuwayama, editor. New Perspectives on the Art ofCeramics in China: A Selection ofPapers Read at a Symposium on the Art ofCeramics in China, held at Los Angeles County Museum ofArt, 1989. 156 pp. Los Angeles Los Angeles County Museum ofArt, 1992. Paperback $24. The tide of fhe symposium and the selection of papers for publication emphasize fhe growth in the study of Chinese ceramics that has taken place in fhe last Aiirty to forty years. Under difficult conditions, but stimulated by an expansion in China of regional museums, field archaeology, and publications, many of the larger problems of identification of kiln sites and the naming of major classes of wares have been solved. Excavations of dated tombs and dwelling sites have also helped with dating, inexact as mis dating remains. Archaeology itself has been assisted by analytical work, first through investigation in China and later through results of this work being brought sharply into focus by high-tech laboratories in the West. These methods have all cast light on and made considerable sense of the technology of Chinese ceramics by explaining much of the unique quality of Chinese fired ware from such an early period. Aesthetic studies of this sophisticated craft, of both its form and decoration, have approached it from several sides, concentrating perhaps understandably on the later decorated porcelains. Here Jingdezhen has been the chief center of study. This large and long-lived kiln area, noted in records from the thirteenth century, is now being excavated, making it a rich mine of information not only on the production of porcelain, but on many other styles and grades of ceramics over many centuries. Against the background of such a lively expansion of knowledge and active study of Chinese ceramics, the present selection of papers can act as a summary of some applications. Yutaka Mino, writing on "Recent finds of Chinese Song and Yuan Ceramics" demonstrates the technique of identifying museum pieces detached from their sites of origin by comparing them wiAi excavated pieces from documented kiln sites, thereby establishing the name of the kiln and possibly the date. This is a necessary activity for museum curators and collectors wishing to verify attributions and to establish reliable comparative material. Their success depends entirely on scrupulous exactitude. Mino gives a helpful fully illustrated demonstration of fhe technique, with the added interest of the inclusion of some of the very latest excavated kiln finds of Ru wares.©1994 by UniversityRose Kerr'writillg on "Ming and Ching Ceramics: Some Archaeological PerofHawai 'i Pressspectives," ranges over a wider area than her title suggests and discusses several questions raised by recent excavations, notably of Shanxi lead-glazed wares and of findings in Sichuan and Longquan. She devotes most of her discussion to the in- Reviews 169 formation gained from a recent excavation at Jingdezhen. This long-lived kiln area has provided a rich source of information for much of later Chinese ceramic production. Kerr points out that the use ofhistorical and technological studies of archaeological evidence was invaluable to her conclusions. Mary Ann Rogers has written on "The Mechanics of Change: The Creation of a Song Imperial Ceramic Style" in the tenth and elevenAi centuries. In tracing a distinctive style, she is concerned largely with the recent discovery and identification of Ru and Jun wares at Ruzhou, Henan, and the position that Aiese wares occupied in the courts ofthe Northern Song, and particularly at the court ofthe Huizhong emperor. Extending beyond the strictly ceramic field, with reference to contemporary arts and crafts, this paper demonstrates another research technique much needed and more ambitious: the study of a period and district in depth, using texts, comparative materials, and social history to arrive at an understanding ofnot just the use but Aie position of ceramics in their setting. Rosemary Scott, writing on "Archaism and Invention," covers a very wide area of archaism in style and design, including the use of imitation, rebus, and symbols in decoration. This paper is very broad in scope. Keeping close to ceramic examples, she points out the question of fhe archaistic element in much of Chinese art in the long history...