Home >> Cultural Exchange

Jingdezhen: Sanctuary for intl porcelain artists

Updated: 2023-10-07 10:40 ( China Daily )
Share - WeChat
Spanish artist Jaume Ribalta CHINA DAILY

City strives to become global ceramic art hub revolutionized by digital economy.

Jaume Ribalta is no stranger to early mornings. Rising before 8 am, the Spanish artist begins his day by tending to his home and taking his dog for a brief stroll.

Then, he heads to his studio in Jingdezhen, a quaint city nestled in the mountains of China's Jiangxi province. Known as the porcelain capital of China, Jingdezhen has played a crucial role in refining porcelain-making techniques throughout history.

Ribalta's connection with Jingdezhen began five years ago when he embarked on a journey to explore the traditions and craftsmanship of Chinese porcelain.

"My initial foray into creating porcelain in China was during the spring and summer festivals in Jingdezhen. It was here that I extensively used cobalt blue in my works. Perhaps it was the potent and intense nature of this color that propelled me to seek its origin, and thus, I was compelled to travel to Jingdezhen, the very heart of porcelain," Ribalta said.

Upon visiting Jingdezhen for the first time in 2018, Ribalta felt a sense of boundless possibility and an invitation to immerse himself in Chinese culture and ceramics.

With these thoughts in mind, he made the decision to settle down in Jingdezhen in August last year. Renting a modest countryside home near a river and the mountains in Xianghu — a village just 15 minutes from Jingdezhen — Ribalta transformed his dwelling into a personal sanctuary, workshop and a small exhibition space.

"I took all my savings and, along with my dog, ventured into the unknown. But now, I feel like I am living in a dream," he said.

Jingdezhen, with more than 2,000 years of ceramic-making history, has reached the pinnacle of porcelain craftsmanship having been designated as an official and royal kiln in China.

The city boasts a staggering 8,300 ceramic enterprises and more than 9,800 self-employed ceramic practitioners.

About one-tenth of the population thrives in related businesses, making Jingdezhen a hub for world-renowned ceramic artistry that continues to captivate foreign artists such as Ribalta.

According to incomplete statistics, there are about 30,000 Chinese and foreign artists residing in Jingdezhen, including an estimated 5,000 foreign artists. Every October, thousands of ceramic industry professionals gather for the annual Jingdezhen China International Ceramic Fair, seeking out collaborations and inspiration.

Many artists have had a deep connection with Chinese porcelain long before setting foot in Jingdezhen.

1 2 3 4 Next   >>|
Hot words
Most Popular