Ceramic Technology, Design, and Planning

Interaction and Divergence of Ceramic Technology

Kaijun Chen

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Detail from an album leaf entitled “Decorating Round Ware and Vases in Foreign Enamel.” It is the seventeenth leaf from Illustrated Manual of Porcelain Production. The album includes twenty leaves of paintings and twenty pieces of calligraphy. It is currently housed in a private collection in Taiwan. It is reproduced in Chang Foundation. Chinese Art, Chinese Art from the Ching Wan Society Collection. Taipei: Chang Foundation, 1998.

My project investigates the interaction and divergence of ceramic technology, design, and planning in the manufacture of porcelain in Jingdezhen and Meissen in the seventeenth century. By concentrating on the tools related to production, porcelain pieces, archival records, and textual oeuvres attributed to two ceramic specialists, Lang Tingji (16621715) and Johann Höroldt (16961775), I clarify how technological knowledge and artistic styles were indirectly transmitted or reinvented with the mediation of export wares, tools of design, and textual descriptions. Drawing on my research during a curatorial assistantship at the Frick Collection and from other fieldwork in Asia and Europe, this project challenges conventional narratives of influence and reception in Eurasian intercultural studies with a historiography of mediation and international emulation.