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Museum of Art showcases Chinese ceramics from Neolithic Period to 20th century

Ceramics stand out as the most enduring art form in China. Developed from raw pottery to exquisite dynastic porcelain, Chinese ceramics possess a heritage of technical excellence and inspiration. Ceramics are not only one of China's signature industries, but also one of the vehicles by which people around the world had their first encounter with Chinese culture.

To provide an overview of Chinese ceramics from ancient times to the recent past, the exhibition, "Gems of Chinese Ceramics from the Hong Kong Museum of Art", is now staging at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

The exhibition features more than 300 ceramic pieces from Neolithic Period (c. 2600 –2300 BC) to Qing dynasty (1644-1911), and works from the 20th century Guangdong artists. It presents the beauty of Chinese ceramics over different periods when traditional techniques still prevailed.

Chinese ceramics were originally created for everyday use, but throughout the history of their development, they have impressed with their supreme craftsmanship. Beyond the considerations of utilitarian function and artistic merit, ceramics are also valued for their anthropological significance.

By studying pottery towers and granaries, figures and animals depicted in "sancai" glaze, one can learn about the burial culture of our ancestors. The jade-like Yue wares inspire people to reminisce about the tea drinking vogue of the Tang dynasty (618-907). The appreciation of the export porcelain is like leafing through a history book of Chinese navigation and international trade. Tribute ceramics provide a glimpse into Imperial court extravagance. Even today, people can immerse themselves in the world of literature and art by reading poems written hundreds of years ago about ceramics.

Highlight exhibits illustrating the beauty of Chinese ceramics in the exhibition include, a painted pottery jar with geometric design in Neolithic Period; a pottery jar with impressed lozenge and square patterns in Western Zhou (c.11th century - 771BC); a grey pottery fang painted with animal mask design in Western Han (206 BC - AD 8); a grey pottery house with verandah and a pottery watchtower in green glaze in Han dynasty (206 BC - AD 220); and a pixie-shaped candle stand in celadon glaze in Western Jin (265 - 316).

In addition, some of the unique pieces on display are a ewer with applied decoration in brown splashes of Changsha ware and a painted pottery female figure in Tang dynasty; a tiger-shaped pillow painted in black and yellow on white ground of Cizhou type in Shanxi in Jin dynasty (1115 - 1234); a leather pouch ewer with sculpted figure in green glaze in Liao dynasty (10th century); a mallow-shaped washer in purple blue glaze of Jun ware and a flower-shaped plate in celadon glaze of Ge ware in Song dynasty (960 - 1279); a pear-shaped vase with bird-and-flower design in underglaze blue in Yuan dynasty (1271 - 1368); a bowl with scrolling flower design in underglaze red and a vase with applied chi-dragon decoration and scrolling peony design in underglaze in Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644); a globular vase with applied chi-dragon and bat decoration in lavender blue glaze, a seated Guanyin in white glaze of Dehua ware and a vase with 100 deer design in fencai enamels in Qing dynasty; and a nymph playing a flute made in the mid 20th century.

The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. Closed at 5pm on Chinese New Year's Eve. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

For enquiries, call 2721 0116 or visit the Museum of Art's website at .

Ends/Wednesday, January 24, 2007
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