Innovation breathes new life into Jingdezhen ceramics

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This photo taken on Oct. 17, 2023 shows ceramic vases created by a young designer in Jingdezhen, east China's Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua)

Looking like a deformed disposable paper cup, a ceramic cup became a sensation the moment it became available to the public. The dents on the cup surface are convenient for people to hold, and the light milky white shows the beauty of simplicity.

Hu Xiaoyun, a painting graduate from Jingdezhen Ceramic University, is the designer of the series. She said that the design of the series is based on her environmental philosophy of rejecting disposable cups. Now, the sales volume of these products has exceeded 10,000.

"I hope that there are more people who like my creation, so as to reduce the use of disposable cups," said Hu, 25.

Jingdezhen is known as the world-famous "porcelain capital" in east China's Jiangxi Province. Its ceramic craftsmanship history spans over 2,000 years.

Traditional ceramic production techniques and modern creative designs are now blending in this city, bringing continuous innovation in the creation of ceramic products. Various innovative products have won the hearts of young consumers and injected new vitality into the "porcelain capital."

At an open-air art fair held in the city as part of the 2023 China Jingdezhen International Ceramic Expo held from Wednesday to Sunday, visitors are dazzled by the endless array of unique ceramic products, including scented candles, earrings, necklaces and stereos. Customers, many from other cities, go to Jingdezhen for shopping and few leave empty-handed.

Yang Fan, a stall owner from central China's Hubei Province, has attended the fair every year since 2018 to sell her products. She uses ceramics as materials, with flowers and butterflies as the main elements. Her wearable ceramic products include earrings, rings, necklaces and hair clips. Her average monthly sales revenue is around 20,000 yuan (2,785.79 U.S. dollars).

"I hope that ceramics can be a new spotlight in people's daily wear," Yang said.

Among the 600 stall owners are many foreigners.

With her ceramic works spread out at a tiny stand, Park Ju-hee was busy presenting her latest creation series to potential buyers.

The 44-year-old from the Republic of Korea named her latest creative series "Mosaic," as she randomly added some light colors, such as green and purple, to the white plates and cups.

"Life has been colorless during the past three years because of the pandemic, and so I hope my works can help make life more colorful," said Park, who settled in Jingdezhen last year.

Sun Lixin, a national inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage of traditional blue and white porcelain making in Jingdezhen, said the development of the city not only requires inheritance of the spirit of craftsmanship but also requires innovation.

"The ceramic craftsmanship should be integrated with innovative ideas and a sense of modernity. Only in this way can we pass down the craftsmanship from generation to generation and keep up with the times," said Sun. 

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