Neo-Guan

Vase
2012 (made)
Neo-Guan thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Li Jianshen is the founder of Sanbao International Pottery Village near Jingdezhen, and currently Professor at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. In recent years, he has devoted his attention to re-discovering and reinterpreting the tradition of guan or official wares that were made for the imperial court in China, wares that are renowned for their precision, superlative technique, and refined quality. His early works in this area were displayed in a solo exhibition at the Palace Museum, Beijing, in 2006.

The painted design on this vase, with the peony as its central motif, is reminiscent of the mille fleur decoration on Chinese porcelain that emerged during the late Yongzheng reign (r. 1723–35) of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). However, instead of using brightly coloured enamels that were typical of mille fleur decoration, Li paints silver outlines on a monochrome ground, which evokes the refined baimiao (plain drawing) painting tradition associated with the literati. The precisely rendered metallic outlines, together with details in gold, on a finely potted surface, retain the element of luxury that is a feature of official wares. On the other hand, the flattened shape of this vase creates an unexpected visual effect that distances it from its original utilitarian function.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Porcelain, painted with silver and gold, glazed
Brief Description
'Neo-Guan', porcelain vase with silver and gold decoration, Li Jianshen, China, 2012
Physical Description
Vase made of porcelain, with a flattened shape, unglazed white surface painted with floral decorations in silver and details in gold, interior and base with bluish glaze.
Dimensions
  • Height: 24.5cm
  • Width: 13.5cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
三寶手製 (In gold on base)
Summary
Li Jianshen is the founder of Sanbao International Pottery Village near Jingdezhen, and currently Professor at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. In recent years, he has devoted his attention to re-discovering and reinterpreting the tradition of guan or official wares that were made for the imperial court in China, wares that are renowned for their precision, superlative technique, and refined quality. His early works in this area were displayed in a solo exhibition at the Palace Museum, Beijing, in 2006.



The painted design on this vase, with the peony as its central motif, is reminiscent of the mille fleur decoration on Chinese porcelain that emerged during the late Yongzheng reign (r. 1723–35) of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). However, instead of using brightly coloured enamels that were typical of mille fleur decoration, Li paints silver outlines on a monochrome ground, which evokes the refined baimiao (plain drawing) painting tradition associated with the literati. The precisely rendered metallic outlines, together with details in gold, on a finely potted surface, retain the element of luxury that is a feature of official wares. On the other hand, the flattened shape of this vase creates an unexpected visual effect that distances it from its original utilitarian function.

Collection
Accession Number
FE.86-2015

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record createdJune 30, 2015
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