Loading Events
This event has passed.

Eighteenth-Century Jingdezhen Porcelain as Meta-Chinoiserie

Date: 18 April 2017 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:00-6:30pm
Venue: Room 4.34, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

Porcelain has long been recognized in scholarship as a significant object of exchange and encounter, with the word “chinaware” denoting porcelain’s crucial role in the shaping of European conceptions of China. This presentation builds upon such important studies by considering porcelain’s global impact not through English-language sources, but through the perspective of Qing Chinese imperial sources and contexts.

This talk focuses on the emergence of a new color palette featuring opaque pastel colors, commonly known as famille rose, on Jingdezhen porcelain during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Rather than emphasize the advent of rose-pink pastels as a change in color scheme on a passive porcelain surface, this presentation illuminates surface as a site of active creation and artisans’ epistemology. By examining eighteenth-century Qing sources, including imperial court documents, porcelain production practices, and the artifacts themselves, I contend that porcelain was not merely a surface on which a chinoiserie style flourished in eighteenth-century Europe. Rather, for certain imperial audiences and makers of porcelain in Qing China, porcelain was understood as an object and technology of purposeful construction – indeed, an art – that enabled an engagement with foreign aesthetics forms and material techniques. By linking export art with history of court initiatives – typically discussed separately in literature about porcelain – the result is a scholarly narrative of chinoiserie that is dynamic, multi-directional, and global in scope.

Speaker: Ellen Huang

Dr. Huang is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, where she is completing a book entitled Jingdezhen Porcelain and the Transformation of China, ca. 1644-1911. Her publications on the making, collecting and viewing on Chinese porcelain have appeared in a number of academic journals and anthologies.

Share this story!