China's porcelain capital becomes hub of creativity

Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province is hailed as China's porcelain capital for centuries. Photo: CNTV


The city of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province is hailed as the country's Porcelain Capital for centuries. The modest city is home to some of the world's best and most valuable handmade porcelain.


Now, this porcelain capital is turning into a hub of creativity, while also honoring its glorious past.


The ancient craft of porcelain gains new life, with young talents getting creative by adding modern elements and design ideas to the products.


Every Sunday, tourists and porcelain enthusiasts from home and abroad flock to this creative bazaar. There are more than 200 stalls, all run by students from the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute.


"I used to think there are only two types of porcelain: the ancient pieces that sit in the museums, and the bowls we use at home. But here there are many more choices. I'm really amazed by the creativity," a visitor said.


The local authorities are encouraging this trend, as the industry has been struggling at a time when cheap labor and industrialization are outstripping traditional craftsmanship.


Favorable conditions are attracting more artists to the porcelain capital. This park, for example, used to be a state-owned factory that went bankrupt. The manager has turned it into a creative park, and it has since become a big draw for artists.


Xie Xiaoming was the first to move into the park. He graduated from the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute and has won various national awards. But eventually, he decided to give up everything and come back here.


"I chose this place because of the city's great tradition of porcelain making. The atmosphere is so great. And I really admire the artisans here, not only for their excellent skills, but also for their hard work and sheer love of the craft. They really inspire me," Xie said.


The creative park covers an area of 30,000 square meters and houses over 150 studios.


"We want this park to be a platform, where talented artists from the whole country can create their work and communicate with each other," said the manager of 1949 Creative Park, Hu Tao. "They bring their ideas here, enriching the porcelain culture of Jingdezhen, and also help spread the culture to the rest of the country through their works."


Now, the city of Jingdezhen has opened hundreds of such creative parks. The porcelain capital of China is fast becoming a creative force, with more than a thousand excellent artists spearheading the trend.

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