Two Ming dynasty Xuande era red-glazed bowls. The one at the top is in the Jingdezhen China Ceramics Museum, collected by the Ceramic Archaeological Research Institute in Jingdezhen. The one at the bottom was excavated from the imperial factory site in Jingdezhen, described as a bo (钵) or ‘earthen bowl’.
Learn from the Experts: Red Ceramics
7pm Monday, 22 January 2018
82 Cairnhill Road
SEACS has arranged an evening with ceramics expert Lim Yah Chiew and some of its specialist collectors to help you identify, appreciate, and understand ceramics featuring the colour red, whether as a metallic oxide, or as an underglaze (釉下) or overglaze. The opportunity to see examples of these ceramics, touch and hold them, and hear our very own in-house experts point out their distinguishing characteristics is one of the advantages of an SEACS membership.
Singapore residents can study the early appearance of copper-red at our own Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), as described in Liu Yang’s chapter on “Tang Dynasty Changsha Ceramics” in Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds ed. by Regina Krahl and John Guy: “Changsha potters developed a number of important technical processes in the ninth century, including the use of iron-manganese rocks as high-temperature glaze colorants, underglaze decoration in oxide-rich pigments and glazes, the use of copper oxides as a green and blue-green colouring agent in high-fired glazes, and the apparent discovery and first use in China of copper-red effects” (italics ours).
But as Rosemary Scott reminded us in the Oriental Ceramic Society’s publication on Monochromes, “Of all the glaze colours employed by Chinese potters, copper red was undoubtedly the most challenging.” Since copper is very volatile, it is very difficult to fire a glaze based on copper so as it turns out pure red when finished. The success rate of wares with specifically copper-red glazes was typically very low. Come learn about these and the evolution of red glazes throughout China’s ceramic history. Feel free to bring along and share any examples from your own collection.
SAVE THE DATE: Our AGM will be held on Wednesday 7 March, together with our 2018 William Willetts Lecture. Invitations will be sent out in early February.
This event is open to SEACS members only. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The program will begin at 7pm and end at approximately 9pm. If you are driving, look for parking at Cairnhill Link by #124 Cairnhill Road, where it is free after 5pm. The closest MRT station is Newton, which is only a 10-minute walk away from this event venue.