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Reflection on research paper--The problem of the development of Chinese contemporary ceramics

According to Gao Zhenyu (1998, p.43), contemporary ceramic art emerged from artists’ reflection and criticism about traditional ceramic art in the background of industrialization and exists in the conscious classification and confrontation with traditional ceramics. The difference in the structure of civilization produced the corresponding ceramic culture. Traditional ceramics are divided into crafts in the stage of agricultural civilization, and at that time the "technical perfection" in practicality and decoration is the main pursuit in ceramics. Compared with the mechanical reproduction in the modern industry society, the early period emphasizes the craftsmanship of pottery. Blue and white porcelain, celadon and other ceramics are all representative products exported overseas in the early period of globalization. As a commodity, they are also spreading Chinese ceramic culture.

However, what the most reflective thing is Garth C. (2011)’s review: “The great irony is that China, the greatest ceramics culture on earth, never made it into modernism. In Europe, America, and Japan, ceramics were gradually transformed, beginning with the Reform Movement in 1850, into an adventurous art form. Were one to list the top one hundred twentieth-century ceramists, there would not be a single artist from the People’s Republic of China.”

China in the 1950s was in the midst of construction and did not participate in the development of contemporary ceramics in the world. In the 1980s, with the development of China's Reform and Opening, Chinese ceramics began to connect with the other ceramic culture. But at the same time, Chinese traditional ceramics is a heavy burden to affect the development of Chinese contemporary ceramics. Due to cultural differences, the contemporary ceramic art system in the other country is difficult to implement in China. “Contemporary ceramics does not mean opposition or division with tradition. On the contrary, we need to have a critical thinking and creative transformation of the value system of ceramics in traditional society from a contemporary context.” (Zhu Legeng, 2012) It is necessary to reinterpret traditional Chinese ceramics in a contemporary context and analyze how to reflect, criticize and inherit traditional ceramic culture from the historical and geographical perspective. Chinese traditional ceramics are the protagonist of globalization, the research about how artists from east and west cultural context can view this culture and use different methods to reinterpret it in their works will undoubtedly contribute to the development of Chinese contemporary ceramics.


Gao, Z. Y. (1998). Chinese contemporary ceramics, p.43.

Garth C. (2011). Mind Mud: Ai Weiwei's Conceptual Ceramics available online at (accessed October 4, 2018).

Zhu legeng. (2012) The current situation of Chinese contemporary ceramics

#contemporaryceramics #tradition #ceramics #contemporaryart #China

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