2 September 2018

New archaeological discoveries of imperial porcelains
CUHK Art Museum presents finest imperial porcelains from Zhengtong, Jingtai and Tianshun reigns of the Ming Dynasty (1436-1464)



As a continuation of the 2012 exhibition Filling the Interregnum: Ming Mid-15th Century Ceramics from Jingdezhen, the Art Museum at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum jointly present the exhibition Refilling the Interregnum: Newly Discovered Imperial Porcelains from Zhengtong, Jingtai and Tianshun Reigns (1436-1464) of the Ming Dynasty from 1 September to 16 December 2018. The show features 158 selected items from the collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum, including not only the latest archaeological discoveries but also pieces from the Yongle, Xuande, and Chenghua reigns which serve as primary pieces for comparison. These objects have undergone careful and extensive conservation and many are exhibited outside mainland China for the first time. Members of the public are welcome to visit the exhibition. Admission is free. 

The opening ceremony for the exhibition was held last Friday (31 August). The officiating guests included Prof. Jiang Jianxin, Director of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum; Prof. Wah Wan-sang, Benjamin, Provost, CUHK; Mr. Liu Changgui, Associate Consultant of the Department of Culture of Jiangxi Province; Mr. Zhan Xinghua, Director of the Relics Department, Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Jiangxi Province; Prof. Ho Che-wah, Acting Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK; Prof. Peter Y.K. Lam, Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies and Retired Director of the Art Museum, CUHK; Mr. Christopher Mok, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Art Museum, CUHK; Prof. Yiu Chun-chong, Josh, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK and Dr. Wang Guanyu, Samantha, Research-Assistant Curator (Antiquities) of the Art Museum, CUHK.

The twenty-eight year following the Tumu Crisis, from 1436 to 1464, was among the most politically unstable periods of the Ming Dynasty. Scholars have attributed this chaos to the constant change in rule, from the Zhengtong reign to the Jingtai reign to the subsequent Tianshun reign. This political confusion marked almost every aspect of society, including that of imperial porcelain production. During this particular period, imperial porcelain wares did not bear the formal year mark, as they had during the earlier Xuande period. This lack of detail has created a significant obstacle in dating these objects and thus to conducting in-depth studies on them. Scholars have reflected this limitation of knowledge in the naming of this short period, known as the Interregnum. In 2014, the Jingdezhen Ceramics Archaeological Institute discovered an unprecedented number of imperial porcelains dating from the Zhengtong, Jingtai, and Tianshun reigns at the northern foot of Pearl Hill, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. Meticulously carved and beautifully decorated, the rich diversity and refined craftsmanship of the discovered pieces represent the finest porcelains the Jingdezhen kilns made during the Zhengtong, Jingtai and Tianshun reigns. These objects have greatly enriched our understanding of the Interregnum, and allowed scholars to uncover the likelihood that artistic innovation and experimentation not only survived, but thrived during this period of political instability. 

To tie in with the exhibition, the Art Museum has organised a lecture and a symposium, inviting experts from Korean, Japan, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to share their study and research on  porcelains during the Interregnum.  “Arts Experience Workshops” will be there for the public and through a combination of amusing guided tours, role-play games and arts creations, participants will experience a museum visit in a new fashion and establish a deeper sensitivity towards the arts and history of imperial porcelains of the Ming Dynasty. The “Arts Experience Workshops” are free of charge. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Details of the exhibitions are as follows: 

Date:

1 September 2018 – 16 December 2018

Venue:

Gallery I, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

Mondays to Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sundays and Public Holidays: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Thursdays (except Public Holidays)

Enquiries:

3943-7416

Attachment:    Highlighted exhibits

(From left) Dr. Wang Guanyu, Samantha, Research-Assistant Curator (Antiquities) of the Art Museum, CUHK; Mr. Christopher Mok, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Art Museum, CUHK; Prof. Ho Che-wah, Acting Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK; Prof. Wah Wan-sang, Benjamin, Provost, CUHK; Prof. Jiang Jianxin, Director of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum; Mr. Liu Changgui, Associate Consultant of the Department of Culture of Jiangxi Province; Mr. Zhan Xinghua, Director of the Relics Department, Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Jiangxi Province; Prof. Peter Y.K. Lam, Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies and Retired Director of the Art Museum, CUHK; Prof. Josh Yiu, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the exhibition.
(From left) Dr. Wang Guanyu, Samantha, Research-Assistant Curator (Antiquities) of the Art Museum, CUHK; Mr. Christopher Mok, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Art Museum, CUHK; Prof. Ho Che-wah, Acting Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK; Prof. Wah Wan-sang, Benjamin, Provost, CUHK; Prof. Jiang Jianxin, Director of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum; Mr. Liu Changgui, Associate Consultant of the Department of Culture of Jiangxi Province; Mr. Zhan Xinghua, Director of the Relics Department, Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of Jiangxi Province; Prof. Peter Y.K. Lam, Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies and Retired Director of the Art Museum, CUHK; Prof. Josh Yiu, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the exhibition.

Prof. YIU Chun-chong Josh, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK delivers a welcoming speech.
Prof. YIU Chun-chong Josh, Director of the Art Museum, CUHK delivers a welcoming speech.

Prof. Jiang Jianxin, Director of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum delivers a speech.
Prof. Jiang Jianxin, Director of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum delivers a speech.

Dr. Wang Guanyu, Samantha, Research-Assistant Curator (Antiquities) of the Art Museum, CUHK accounts for the exhibition.
Dr. Wang Guanyu, Samantha, Research-Assistant Curator (Antiquities) of the Art Museum, CUHK accounts for the exhibition.

Flower pot with mythical sea creatures in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum
Flower pot with mythical sea creatures in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum

Pillow with lotus sprays in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum
Pillow with lotus sprays in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum

Large dish with dragon design in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum
Large dish with dragon design in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum

Covered cylindrical jar with flower and brocade in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum
Covered cylindrical jar with flower and brocade in blue and white
Zhengtong to Tianshun, Ming Dynasty(1436-1464)
Unearthed in 2014 from northern foot of the Pearl Hill, Imperial Porcelain Factory site, Jingdezhen
Collection of the Jingdezhen Imperial Ware Museum