Cultural Heritage
Published: Jun 19, 2022 07:03 PM
The Porcelain Craftsmanship in Jingdezhen

Editor's Note:

China celebrated its annual Cultural and Natural Heritage Day on June 11 with more than 63,000 events launched across the country.

In the following weeks, Global Times will introduce some of China's most known cultural heritages so readers may learn more about the country's various legacies and how they are viewed today.

Over the past 5,000 years, China has given birth to a vast array of cultural heritages. Among these are the beautiful porcelain wares produced at Jingdezhen in East China's Jiangxi Province. Here we explore their development and importance in today's society.

Jingdezhen is well known around the world for its porcelain. 

It has produced porcelain since the Five Dynasties (907-960). Jingdezhen is known as the "porcelain capital" for its various kinds of porcelain wares with rich and intricate patterns and distinctive styles. 

Of all the products, blue and white porcelain is the most famous. 

Their elegant style has earned such unique porcelains the nickname "Treasure of China." 

Starting in the Song Dynasty (906-1279) kilns appeared in "every household in every village" in Jingdezhen, laying a foundation for the establishment of its porcelain tradition. 

During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the establishment of the Zhushan Imperial Kiln and the expanded porcelain market overseas accelerated the development of the industry, turning Jingdezhen into a major porcelain production center. 

During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), a new technique for blue and white glaze was invented. 

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, techniques for mining, molding, painting, glazing, firing were advanced, bringing Jingdezhen's porcelain craftsmanship to a historic high.  

The Republic of China era (1912-49) saw the expansion of porcelain merchants as well as a rise in shops, firms and traders, who helped strengthen ties between Jingdezhen and other areas in China and other countries. 

After the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the porcelain industry saw leapfrog development. 

However, due to the economic transformation and mechanization of porcelain over the last decades, the traditional porcelain production deteriorated. 

Although some traditional techniques have been preserved, a large part of them were lost or phased out. In 2006, Jingdezhen porcelain craftsmanship was listed in the first batch of China's national-level intangible cultural heritage.