Henan to host the country's first biennale on ceramics

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Long known for its porcelain ware produced in the kilns of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Central China's Henan province is now set to hold a ceramics biennale.

Henan Museum will host the Central China International Ceramics Biennale starting from Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

Starting on Friday, the Central China International Ceramics Biennale, considered the first of its kind in the country, will unveil the beauty of these delicate objects. The show will be held at Henan Museum in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, and feature some 800 porcelain pieces, including modern items and antiques from China and Italy.

Many exhibits from other countries are also expected to be on display. An exhibition titled Cont (r) act Earth will showcase wares, sculptures, installations and videos by 42 artists from 20 countries.

The biennale, which runs through March 12, will also hold three other events.

Xu Rui, deputy director of the biennale preparation office and a researcher at the Henan Museum, says at a recent news conference in Beijing that half of the artworks have been specially made for the exhibition. Some foreign artists have spent months in Henan to create their pieces, which are inspired by local traditional architecture and ancient figurines that are part of the collections at Henan Museum.

The exhibition will show about 500 contemporary art pieces made of clay to reveal the relationship between humans and nature, as well as the individual and society.

"Ceramics is an old art form across the world. It is not easy to transform it into contemporary art," Wang Huangsheng, a member of the biennale's art committee, says at the Beijing event.

When it comes to ceramics in China, people either associate it with antique ware or Jingdezhen, in East China's Jiangxi province, which is often called the "porcelain capital", he says.

But Henan has had a long relationship with the material as well.

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