選單圖示選單圖示

National Palace Museum

Essential collection of Cheng-hua porcelain ware from the National Palace Museum(in Chinese)

  • Chief Editor: Tsai, Ho-pi
  • Author: Tsai, Ho-pi
    translated by Julian Thompson
  • ISBN: 978-957-562-780-5
  • Price: NT$900
  • Binding: softcover

The National Palace Museum (NPM) houses a great collection of rare, precious, high-quality porcelain masterpieces, of which more than 700 are Cheng-hua porcelains. Wine cup with decoration of chicken in a garden outlined in underglaze blue and filled in with doucai colors, a Cheng-hua porcelain that has garnered the attention of the world, has created a number of legends at auctions. Although the monetary values of artifacts may be measured by how much they cost, their cultural values are immeasurable. The cultural values of artifacts are revealed by the textual studies and research conducted by history experts and scholars, in which they share with people from later generations the history and significance of the times in which the artifacts were fabricated, which icnlude arts found in people's daily lives, the transmission of related culture, and the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.

This exhibition catalogue introduces 207 of the NPM's Ming dynasty Cheng-hua porcelains including blue and white porcelains, porcelains with single-color glaze, and colored porcelains. The myriad of colorful porcelain designs such as flowers and birds, animals, insects, and plants as well as imaginary creatures such as blue and white dragons, winged horses, and flying elephants reflect people's lives and cultural beliefs as well as trending painting styles in the society at the time. The unique techniques of wucai and doucai gave birth to other techniques such as falangcai and fencai, facilitating the development of various cai techniques for designing porcelains. Together, the various cai techniques have mesmerized people from future generations.

Ming dynasty inherited the firing techniques used to manufacture porcelain ware during the Song dynasty. However, contrary to Song dynasty porcelain ware, which feature gentle glaze, Cheng-hua porcelain ware embodies both introverted aesthetic shapes and structures and colors in riotous profusion. In addition, the use of blue and white pigments under the glaze and the preservation of white space through thin lines fully demonstrate the gentle texture of porcelains as well as their soft and elegant qualities. Underglaze and overglaze were jointly and ingeniously used to create extraordinary designs and techniques, in which the most famous techniques included those used for outlining designs, adding artifact details, and applying appropriate shades. In porcelain history, Cheng-hua porcelains have enjoyed the highest acclaim both in the past and the present.

This exhibition catalogue was written by Cai He-bi, a retired associate research fellow who wrote Catalogue of the Cheng-hua Porcelain Ware Special Exhibition published by the NPM in 2003. The current exhibition catalogue possesses a wealth of content based on Cai's many years of research as well as insightful monographs that explain the origin and history of Cheng-hua porcelain ware, which will allow readers to study historiography, firing techniques, and the legends of Cheng-hua porcelain ware from a variety of historical perspectives. This exhibition catalogue is fascinating, easy to understand, and one that Cheng-hua porcelain ware aficionados will truly not want to miss.

Essential collection of Cheng-hua porcelain ware from the National Palace  Museum(in Chinese)
Essential collection of Cheng-hua porcelain ware from the National Palace  Museum(in Chinese)