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Potters' Paradise in Beijing
Pottery of consistently high artistic merit has been produced for thousands of years in China. Various styles have predominated at various periods to leave a rich legacy.

Yifange, located in the Home Deco shopping centre in COFCO Plaza, is the only one of its kind devoted to the sale of one of China's ancient ceramic art forms: the Changsha kiln style.

A wide range of functional, decorative and architectural ceramics are available.

Unlike Jingdezhen porcelain, which has gained an international reputation, Changsha pottery was a disappearing art after its peak in the Tang Dynasty.

As one of the four ancient kilns in Chinese history, Changsha has been famous for its underglaze colour craft, which later was widely applied by other kilns including those in Jingdezhen. Moreover, molded applique, calico-printing, moulded calico-printing, incised decoration and paste-on-paste were also outstanding achievements in decorative art produced by the Changsha kiln.

According to historical records, the pottery made in the kiln was described as "white like jade, bright like glass, thin like paper, and sounding like a bell."

However, the art had almost disappeared until the 1960s when the remains of Changsha kiln were unearthed.

Mao Jianxin, a potterer devoted to the study and research of Changsha ceramic art, resumed the method and created his own workshop in his hometown in Changsha, Hunan Province.

Yifange is the only dealer of Mao's works.

The fact that the manufacture of pottery is mostly by hand makes mass production impossible. All the works on sale are original limited edition pieces. Prices range from several yuan to 56,000 yuan (US$6,740).

Location: 2/F, Tower C, COFCO Plaza, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District

Hours: 9 am to 9 pm

Tel: 8511-5018

(Beijing Weekend December 17, 2002)

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