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Trading China: Paintings of the Porcelain Production Process in the Qing Dynasty

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) is delighted to present ‘Trading China: Paintings of the Porcelain Production Process in the Qing Dynasty’ running from 23 October 2015 through 1 May 2016. This exhibition showcases a series of 34 paintings recently donated to the Museum, depicting the making and trading of porcelain from the Jingdezhen kilns in the 18th century.  Accompanying the exhibition will be a fully illustrated catalogue. 
The theme and appreciation of porcelain-making will never be outdated and these illustrations vividly capture the work of the many specialised labourers and the way in which the trade and transport of the finished porcelain was arranged. This unique series details processes from mining clay to selling porcelain to foreign merchants through local dealers. 
Since the 16th century, Western demand for Chinese porcelain, exported through Canton (Guangzhou), grew. The technique of overglaze enamel painting, which originated in the imperial workshops was used at Jingdezhen from the early 18th century for the production of imperial, domestic and export wares, reinforcing its role as China’s largest porcelain production centre. This style was very popular and led to innovations in ceramic production in Europe. The paintings provide a rare and fascinating insight into the complex lifecycle of porcelain production and the science and art for which Imperial China was famous.
The exhibition is made possible through a generous gift from the late Susan Chen Hardy, a long-time patron and benefactor to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. 
To coincide with the show, talks for adults, family activities and a schools programme will be presented at the Museum. The events are all free to Museum visitors with a valid admission ticket. For details, please check out the What’s On section of the Museum’s website at: http://www.hkmaritimemuseum.org/eng/whats-on/calendar-of-events/79/