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Looking China: Mastery of Guan Ware


11-07-2017 15:50 BJT

Full coverage: ‘看中国’外国青年影像计划专题

By CCTV.com Panview

Editor's foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation. The program focuses on the young participants’ personal experiences of Chinese culture and encourages them to discover and tell Chinese stories from their own perspectives.

As of the year 2017, students from all over the world were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 12 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of "Craftsmanship·Inheritance·Innovation.”

The movie "Mastery of Guan Ware," directed by Johanne Sonderby Didriksen and produced by Song Susu, shows us the process of making Guan Ware. Guan ware is a type of porcelain, which is the most prosperous porcelain in Chinese history. Zhang Jieguang is a self-taught Guan ware maker and has worked with it for the past 20 years. Through hard work and dedication, he has become a master of the art.

There are several steps to make a beautiful piece of Guan ware. The first step is to prepare the clay, then pour the slurry into the molds.

After the clay is removed from the mold, it needs to be left to dry for a whole day. Whereafter, it is adjusted to get final shape. The clay is then baked in the kiln for 5-6 hours at temperature just below 1000℃. After its first baking, the clay has formed into pottery.

The next part of process is glazing. Thereafter, it is left to dry for one to three days, depending on the season. The last step is to bake them for a further 15 hours at temperature around 1300℃. After final baking, the pottery has become porcelain. 


In history, this kind of porcelain was only used for the royal family. Nowadays, the skill of making Guan ware was inherited by Master Zhang and other artists, so that ordinary people can have the opportunity to get it as well.

The short movie has a very clear story line. If you are interested in Chinese porcelain, this is a good introduction for you to watch.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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