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This programme will be held in Chinese. For the Chinese abstract click here. The programme will be simultaneously translated into English and each slide has a summary of key points in both 中文 and English.

Most kiln sites of Yuan blue-and-white production that have been discovered to date are in Jingdezhen, concentrated in Hutian (湖田) and Lao Cheng (老城, meaning the ‘old town’ areas). Evidence from the latest archaeological finds show that the production of blue-and-white in Jingdezhen had begun by 1330 at the latest. Technological innovation was the key driver for the production of large-sized blue-and-white wares. The diversity of decorative motifs and designs demonstrates the multiplicity of cultural sources, including Islamic culture, which had a major impact. 

The Yuan government actively encouraged overseas trade and taxes collected from international trade was a key source of revenue. Blue-and-white porcelain (青花瓷) became the most important export wares of the period, mainly to Islamic regions and Southeast Asia. Production  was managed by the Fuliang Porcelain Bureau (浮梁瓷局), Fuliang being the former name of Jingdezhen. Production could have been intended for the Yuan imperial court and other government bureaus as well as for the private sector.

About the Speaker:

Chen Kelun (陈克伦) is currently Senior Curator of the Shanghai Museum where he previously served as its Deputy Director from 2000 to 2015. He is also the Director of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Museum, Adjunct Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, a member of the Committee of the National Commission of Cultural Relics Appraisal, and the Vice President of the Chinese Ancient Ceramics Society. 

He studied archeology in university and worked in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum as a research fellow in cultural relics after graduation. He later obtained a Masters degree from Fudan University.

Chen Kelun has conducted systematic studies on cultural relics, archeology and museology and has published hundreds of academic papers in these fields. He is devoted to the research of Yue, Longquan, Song dynasty ci, Yuan dynasty blue-and-white, and Ming and Qing dynasty porcelain produced in Jingdezhen, and has presented his findings and proposed new perspectives to high praised by scholars, researchers and curators internationally. In addition, he  has taught courses on cultural relics and museology at Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University for decades; some of his students have now become directors of several important museums in China. 

He was named an honorary director of the Bowers Museum in Los Angeles in 2005; and in 1998, was awarded the Ordre National du Mérite at the Elysee Palace by former French President Jacques Chirac in recognition of his significant contribution to the study of antiquities, the development of museums in China and for his work in the area of China and France’s cultural exchanges. In 2012, he was a recipient of the special subsidy from the State Council of the People’s Republic of China for his outstanding contribution to Chinese art and culture, and was recognised as an “Outstanding Scholar” by the American Friends of the Shanghai Museum in 2015.

To view a former address of Dr. Chen Kelun to the Asia Society (in Chinese), click here.

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