Chinese New Year is around the corner, and a group of expats joined this Canton Porcelain workshop held by GDToday. This being their first time go at painting Canton Porcelain, the expats experienced how difficult this traditional handicraft is.
Canton Porcelain came to being in the Qing Dyansty more than 300 years ago and achieved fame around the globe due to its lustrous colours. It was once a favorite of the royal families of Europe and has been exported in quantity to numerous countries. In 2008, the art of producing Canton Porcelain was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage.
At the beginning of the workshop, Xu Junru, the instructor for this event and also an inheritor of this intangible culture, introduced Canton Porcelain is typically decorated with alternating panels of figures and birds, flowers and insects, and predominantly in vibrant colours. She suggested all the beginners start with flowers, instead of animals.
Mansha (R): It is my first time to paint on a plate or porcelain. I think doing the black line is the most difficult.
Simon: It is really so much more difficult than writing it on the paper.
All of the participants had about just one hour to finish designing the glaze for their own plates.
Kristina (L) from Hungary, painted some patterns symbolizing the architecture of her country. Mansha (R), who is from Indonesia, painted some flowers on one side of the plate and said she likes this asymmetric style.
Oxana challenged herself to paint a bird and the Canton Tower in the hope of creating a keepsake of her time in Guangzhou.
Simon copied out a Chinese character meaning longevity on the plates. He is going to give this plate to his Grandma in U.K. during the New Year holiday.
Over the past few years, GDToday has invited expats to experience different elements of traditional Chinese culture including calligraphy, tea ceremonies, paper-cutting, among others, and will keep hosting these kinds of special workshops in the future, so if you’re sorry you missed out this time, watch this space!
Editor: Wing, Simon