Porcelain replicas reviving ancient kilns

Nanchang , November 5:

A leap in demand for porcelain imitations is reviving China’s ancient ceramic-making industry. China’s Palace Museum has entrusted Huang Yunpeng, one of the most established porcelain craftsmen, to replicate over 400 pieces of Qing Dynasty porcelain antiques. Huang is leading efforts to cement Jingdezhen town’s reputation as the world’s ceramic art centre, recovering techniques that have been forgotten for six centuries.

After 20 years overseeing repairs at the JingdezhenCeramicMuseum in Jiangxi, he is now director of the Jia Yang Ceramic Studio and a master copier. One of his replicas of 14th century Chinese porcelain jars is sold for around $3,750. The original sold for $27 million at London last year, breaking the world record for a piece of Asian art.

“The replicas have their own art value. Remaking porcelain antiques in the traditional way helps carry forward China’s ceramic-making culture and preserves the ancient craftsmanship,”

said Lu Chenglong, deputy director of the antique department of the PalaceMuseum.

He disclosed that the refined ceramic-making craftsmanship in Jingdezhen has produced porcelain wares based on ancient drawing drafts kept by the museum, which had never previously been kilned.

Tang Kai, with the Archeological Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences, said China had 70 million art collectors in 2002. The number increased to 100 million by the end of 2005, half of them keen on collecting china.