Porcelain sculptor Lv Pinchang from Jingdezhen

2010-04-13 09:19 BJT

Very often, if an artist is from Jing-de-zhen in eastern China's Jiangxi Province, then people assume that what he or she does must have something to do with porcelain. The reason is simple: the city has a porcelain-making history dating back over two millennia. It's seen by many as the indisputable home of Chinese porcelain. And in the case of Lv Pinchang, a Jing-de-zhen native, the assumption has proven both true and untrue.

Lv Pinchang, Sculptor & Porcelain Artist, said, "The impact of the fire on earth is not to alter, but to transform it forever. The power is known as the “second creative force". To us artists, it's God's hands, or God's fire."

For Lv Pinchang, the moment of opening the kiln, after hours of waiting, is like receiving a revelation from God ...

Half an hour later, Lv is finally able to lift his “baby” out of the ashes. And just like any new-born, it needs a “baptism, which turns its blackened face and charred skin into a shining green.

The men are muscled like professional body-builders. Light bounces on the skin, which seems to have been oiled. Yet for all their bulk, they are in no way intimidating, or malicious. The inspiration comes from wrestlers in ancient China.

Lv Pinchang said, "A lot of my time is spent studying traditional Chinese culture. Because I feel inclined to think in a way that reflects my Chinese artist identity."

This is Wuxi City in eastern China. Here on the riverside is one of the city's landmark buildings – the Wuxi Clay Figurine Museum. The cherubic babies, the most famous image in the craft's tradition, plays the role of a muse to Lv Pinchang.

The surface doesn't have the delicacy of porcelain, but resembles dried mud streaked with streams of water.

Lv Pinchang, Sculptor & Porcelain Artist
Lv Pinchang, Sculptor & Porcelain Artist

Despite the muses in Wuxi, Lv's creations have roots that go all the way to Jing-de-zhen County – the artist's hometown.

Lv said, "For me, the most enduring artistic influence comes from my hometown, its rich local culture and encompassing artistic milieu. I was born into this tradition. And even before realizing it, I had taken up porcelain, channeling my passion and creativity into it."