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Creatives find their muse in small town culture

Art, business and life converge in Jingdezhen, China's porcelain capital

By ZHAO RUINAN in Nanchang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-15 10:54
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Young artisans sell self-made porcelain artworks at the Taoxichuan Spring and Autumn Art fair in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, in October. [Photo/Xinhua]

When Liu Yan visited Jingdezhen 11 years ago, she came across a pink peach-shaped celestial globe vase. It so impressed her that she decided to stay in the porcelain capital.

"It was my second visit to Jingdezhen in 2013, when I saw the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) porcelain at the Jingdezhen China Ceramics Museum. The artwork was gorgeous, and a strong urge grew in my mind at that moment:'It would be wonderful if I could create something like this.'"

She had recently quit her job as the chief editor of the weekly news department at Changsha Evening News in southern China's Hunan province. She was seeking something new.

Liu began a decade-long journey of studying overglaze enameling, the technique of painting glazed pottery. She started with the basics, such as grinding pigments and drawing lines.

Over time, her passion for painting on porcelain grew. She spent her leisure time reading books, drinking tea, and even bought a used electric bicycle to explore Jingdezhen. Her life there differs greatly from her previous urban working life.

"People in Jingdezhen have a unique aura," she said. "Jingdezhen is home to many interesting and like-minded individuals or artists, and everyone lives based on their skills in this down-to-earth paradise."

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