Heart of china

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-21 18:08:01

Li Jianshen steps out of his studio carrying newly finished ceramic bowls in Sanbao village, Jingdezhen. Photo: CFP

Li puts the finishing touches to a bowl in his studio. Photo: CFP

Zhang Jian, a native of Hunan Province and graduate of China's Central Academy of Fine Art, created his own ceramics brand in Jingdezhen using wood as a fuel in his kiln, which creates unique and natural pottery. Photo: CFP

Australian artist China De La Vega passes by a workshop that makes traditional Chinese ceramics in Jingdezhen. De La Vega came to the area a year ago and rented a studio. Photo: CFP


A vendor sells saucers at a pottery market in Jingdezhen. Photo: CFP

At his studio in Sanbao village, Jingdezhen, in East China's Jiangxi Province, Li Jianshen sits at a pottery wheel and carefully puts the finishing touches to a bowl.

After graduating with a Master's degree in ceramics from a US university in the 1990s, Li came back to China and set up a studio in Jingdezhen. He now spends around six months each year in the city, making pottery and receiving other artists who visit the porcelain hub.

He is a typical "Jingdezhen drifter," or jingpiao, one of the over 20,000 people, including 1,200 foreigners, who have been drawn to the city by its vibrant pottery industry and diverse arts and crafts community. They include ceramic artists who, seeking inspiration, soak up the atmosphere for several months, entrepreneurs who aim to set up their own porcelain brands, and craftsmen like Li Jianshen who settle down, set up their own workshops and make the city their home.

These artists and entrepreneurs are the latest in a long line of practitioners of this craft in the ancient town, located in the northeast of Jiangxi, which has long been famous for its pottery industry which can be traced back more than 1,700 years.

Today, Jingdezhen is home to one of the country's biggest ceramic markets, where over 100 artists regularly set up stalls to sell their art.

Global Times

Posted in: In-Depth

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