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Xinhua Silk Road: China’s Dehua stages white porcelain show in New York

NEW YORK, March 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Dehua county in southeast China’s Fujian Province kicked off a five-day event on Thursday to showcase masterpieces of white porcelain in Midtown, New York City.

People attend the "BLANC de CHINE - Porcelain from Dehua" international exhibition in New York
People attend the “BLANC de CHINE – Porcelain from Dehua” international exhibition in New York

A total of 105 masterpieces of Dehua porcelain will be exhibited during the event.

Dehua white porcelain is famous for its creamy whiteness, subtle jade-like radiance, paper-thin delicacy, and clear, chime stone-like sound, said Fang Junqin, county chief of Dehua.

Dehua boasts a ceramic production history exceeding 3,700 years and the county is recognized for compiling the world’s earliest craftmanship work on ceramics and for mapping the Meiling Layout, the world’s first ceramic factory planning and design map, said Fang at the opening ceremony of the show.

The Dehua kiln site is inscribed in the World Heritage List, and Dehua porcelain firing techniques are among the first to be included in China’s national list of intangible cultural heritage, added Fang.

Huang Ping, the Chinese Consul General in New York, said it’s hoped that the porcelain show would become a new bond which deepens people-to-people friendship between the United States and China.

Huang added that porcelain carries Chinese time-honored history and culture and serves as an important window to understand Chinese civilization.

“This exhibition offers us a unique opportunity to experience the elegance and sophistication of Dehua white porcelain firsthand, bringing to life the shared history and friendship between our two great nations,” said Li Suosheng, vice chair of China General Chamber of Commerce – USA and general manager of China Construction Bank New York.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Li said the promotion of Dehua porcelain not only enriches the cultural landscape of the United States but also serves as a vital bridge in fostering deeper connections and cooperation between Chinese and American enterprises.

The porcelain industry in Dehua now has a total annual output value of 57.7 billion yuan or 8 billion U.S. dollars, and harbors specialized clusters such as traditional porcelain carving, export craft porcelain, and daily-use porcelain, Fang said.

Statistics show that porcelain products from Dehua are shipped to over 190 countries and regions in the world with the United States taking nearly 39 percent share of total export revenues in 2023.

Dehua’s ceramic enterprises are adept at researching, designing, and manufacturing a wide array of ceramic products tailored to the diverse cultural needs of different countries and regions worldwide, said Fang.

It’s hoped that the show would demonstrate rich cultural heritage and exquisite craftsmanship and allow visitors to have a close contact with white porcelain, said Fang.

The exhibits drew interests and admiration from visitors on Thursday and some collectors lost no opportunity to enlarge their collections.

The simplicity, delicacy, transparency and attention to details make the porcelain exhibits special, according to Isabel Barnard Biderman, an art dealer.

“There are so many options taking place around the city… this is the best Asian art I’ve seen today,” said Biderman.

“I feel very lucky to be able to see these beautiful art pieces myself, and I’m very much impressed and happy I was able to make it,” said Daria Shevchenko, who works in the fashion industry in New York for a long time.

Shevchenko told Xinhua that she would share some most important moments of the event on social media and would definitely encourage her followers to come and see themselves with their own eyes.

“I will encourage some of my friends to purchase some of the pieces in their collection,” said Shevchenko.

New York is the first stop for this year’s “BLANC de CHINE – Porcelain from Dehua” international itinerant exhibition following similar events in six other countries in 2023, according to Fang.

Dehua white porcelain was regarded as the prominent export product during the Song Dynasty and the Yuan Dynasty. In the Ming Dynasty, Dehua white porcelain used to be dubbed “Blanc de CHINE” by the French and gained worldwide fame.

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