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Task 5 Manifesto: China Contemporary Ceramic

As the birth place of porcelain, China has created many porcelain treasures in its thousands of years of history, especially in Jingdezhen. However, it is hard to see China's influence on contemporary ceramic.

In 2005, Blue and white Yuan porcelain Guiguzi down was auctioned at surprisingly higher prices: 230 million yuan in London Christies, setting a record for Chinese artwork auctioned in international auctions. The painting on the pot depicts China’s ancient militarist Guiguzi riding in a carriage pulled by a tiger and a leopard down a mountain to save his student Sun Bin, who was trapped by enemies.

Blue and white Yuan porcelain Guiguzi down

However, this glory is belong to the past of China. Because of inaccessibility and economic recession, the ceramic market of Jingdezhen in contemporary times is in a downturn.

What the most reflective thing is Garth C. (2011)’s review: “What many have missed is that Ai is the first ceramics star to emerge from China in nearly two centuries. 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.”

So I want to make a manifesto to call on the Chinese new generation to break through the tradition. So I write the words based on porcelain Guiguzi down. The red is eye-catching, which is the most typical color in China. And the red also means we may pay the price for the reform. Chinese artists can once again begin to contribute great ceramic art to world culture.

Garth C., 2011. Mind Mud: Ai Weiwei's Conceptual Ceramics available online at (accessed November 29, 2017).


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