China’s Porcelain Capital City Tells Story of Innovation Amid Cultural Preservation

As a cultural landmark and city card and Jingdezhen, Taoxichuan Cultural and Creative Block is based on ceramic culture and takes the cultural and creative industry as the main format.

The city has witnessed ceramics making for more than 2000 years, including over 1000 years for official kilns, and more than 600 years for imperial kilns

The passion for and adoration of porcelain and the porcelain industry are deeply engrained in and permeate every corner of Jingdezhen.

JINGDEZHEN, JIANGXI, CHINA, June 26, 2023/ — Jingdezhen, a world acclaimed porcelain city in east China’s Jiangxi Province, has speeded up porcelain industry relics and cultural heritage protection work by promoting the imperial kiln sites. The city raised nearly 10 billion yuan (about 1.43 billion US dollars) to build Taoyangli Imperial Kiln scenic area, and expanded the imperial Kiln site protection area from the initial 13.1 hectares to more than 320 hectares today.

The most craved porcelain from China were made by Jingdezhen’s workshops, fashioned from clay made smooth by skilled craftsmen, fired in kilns there and then transported across the globe. Porcelain was one of China’s first globalized commodities and main trading goods on the Maritime Silk Road,

China’s porcelain capital Jingdezhen will focus on the protection, inheritance, and innovation of ceramic culture, according to a newly-released plan by the Jiangxi Provincial government. Taking advantage of its ancient ceramic culture, the city strives to build itself into a national ceramic culture protection, inheritance and innovation base, a world-famous ceramic culture tourism destination, and an international ceramic cultural exchange, cooperation and trading center.

The city has witnessed ceramic making for more than 2,000 years, including over 1,000 years for official kilns, and more than 600 years for imperial kilns. Due to its role as an official and royal kiln, it developed porcelain-making techniques that put it in a league of its own.

Jingdezhen is a city with its development supported by the ceramic industry, and witnessed 66.537 billion yuan (about 9.51 billion US dollars) of ceramic industrial output value in 2022, an increase of 28.95 percent to that of the previous year, 516 million yuan (about 73.71 million US dollars) of ceramic exports, and 55.63 million yuan (about 7.95 million US dollars) of art ceramic exports, an increase of 148 percent and 89 percent to that of 2021 respectively, according to the statistics provided by Jingdezhen Customs.

From 2021 on, Jingdezhen put “advanced ceramics” on top of its industrial development, and set the goal of scaling up to 50 billion yuan (about 7.14 billion US dollars) by 2025.

In the past five years, Jingdezhen took great efforts to promote the national ceramic culture inheritance innovation pilot zone construction, ranging from art ceramics to ceramics for daily use, from industrial ceramics to advanced ceramics, from overall optimization to holistic industry upgrading, in a bid to construct a grand development pattern for the porcelain industry.

The unquenchable flames of the kilns make for a lasting legacy in ceramics. The artistry of porcelain, continuously refined and improved with each firing, has attained perfection because craftsmen from generation to generation have been on watch and taken bold steps to experiment and develop their skills.

The passion for and adoration of porcelain and the porcelain industry are deeply engrained in and permeate every corner of Jingdezhen, which is well placed for a brighter future, with its time-honored porcelain industry glowing with new vigor and vitality.

Ann Smith
People’s Daily Online USA
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