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Reflection on Mid-point review

Over commercialization of Chinese traditional handicraft


White and blue porcelain (from Yuan dynasty, 14 century) is a symbolic element in Chinese traditional culture. It has a high status in China. It was offered to emperors as a decoration to show off their status.

At the modern society, For Businessmen, it is also a good gimmick because it represents Chinese traditional culture. Some workshops in Jingdezhen still produce white and blue porcelain copied old forms because of the demands of the market, even they are very cheap now.

For auctions, the porcelains in old antient can get a high price after commercial speculation. For example, last year the "Qianlong Porcelain"(1736-1796) was sold at more than fourteen million pounds in Christie's. The reason why it was driven by speculation is Qianlong has become a purely commercial brand and concept and was over-packaged in the market.

A rare porcelain moon flask that belonged to the 18th century Chinese Emperor Qianlong

Also, the benefits in auction provoke a production chain for modern imitations of ancient porcelain of any dynasty. Modern imitations can improve the techniques of craftsmen and preserve the craft in old antient. But someone use them into genuine antiques to make market chaotic.

What I want to do

Production in Jingdezhen

According to the situation of over commercialization of Chinese traditional handicraft, I want to deconstruct this old element blue and white porcelain through exploration and experiment. I will reinterpret it from my perspective and create new blue and white. It is a way for me to understand the present and re-evaluate the past. I distort the traditional shapes and patterns of porcelain to visualize my own feeling. According to the situation of over commercialization of porcelain, I want to add the symbol of coin and another colour--gold in white and blue porcelain. The reason I used the shape of coins (round copper with a square hole) is because it is from ancient Chinese coins, served as the major form of currency in China for two thousand years, same period with traditional porcelain. Another reason I use the coin is that there is an old saying “Full of copper smell” which is used to criticize some businessmen only for the money. Plum flower is to represent the person who are noble and unsullied in Chinese traditional culture. I combined the two patterns to make a conflict.


Evaluation of my project proposal as a part of a self-directed programme of study:

My project proposal is about the critical thoughts about the traditional handicraft in Jingdezhen. I researched the history about the prosperity and decline of Jingdezhen. And I found a popular phenomenon of imitation. But I think my proposal is limited in a city. Because the ups and downs of a city is always related to government policy and historical context. I need to consider a question from a longer-term perspective. But actually It is hard for me to develop and expand this issue and then summerize it to my concept of proposal and use the language of objects to express my concept properly. There are many other complicated elements I need to consider when I discuss my issue. So it is easy to be subjective and one-sided. Also, there are some gap when I bring the concept into practice, the real object.

Where I need to develop study plans:

I think I need to develop many aspects. And the most important one is communication and presentation. Because I usually think some questions personal and subjective, but not comprehensive. and actually I am not good at use speaking to express my concept and also take part in group crit


Also, I need to develop subject knowledge and personal and professional development. When I go deep into my project, I felt in a mess Because there are many directions. My issue is always changeable. I need to develop the ability to summerize the information I researched.

#traditionalculture #Jingdezhen #porcelain #ceramics #tradition #blueandwhiteporcelain

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