New exhibition displays development of ancient Chinese cloisonné

Wang Jie
Cloisonné, one of China's most revered art forms, dates back to the Yuan Dynasty. Now a new exhibition is displaying the development of this ancient art, along with renowned work.
Wang Jie
New exhibition displays development of ancient Chinese cloisonné

"Zun of Peace" by Zhong Liansheng and Li Jing

Supported by the China National Arts Fund, a cloisonné exhibition currently underway at the Shanghai Art Collection Museum reveals the charisma and development of this ancient art form.

With its combination of fine art, craftsmanship, carving, engraving, glass melting and metallurgy, it is widely considered the "cream of China's traditional craftsmanship" and has been listed in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In fact, cloisonné was first introduced to China during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and later refined its technique in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Since most of the colors of Chinese cloisonné were blue, it was thus named Jingtailan (景泰蓝) which has the Chinese character for blue. Cloisonné reached its climax during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and was exclusively used by the royal families.

The exhibition features around 100 cloisonné that culminates the technique and status of Chinese cloisonné, including four pieces dating back to the Qing Dynasty which are on display to the public for the first time.

The highlight of the exhibit is "Zun of Peace" created by Zhong Liansheng and Li Jing in 2009.

"Zun of Peace" is modeled after zun (樽), a bronze ritual object used in ancient China.

The dragons at the top represent guardians of peace, and the phoenixes on both sides convey wishes for prosperity. The entire piece is adorned with traditional auspicious patterns of birds and flowers.

New exhibition displays development of ancient Chinese cloisonné

Work on display

Date: Through December 31, (closed on Mondays), 9am–5:30pm

Admission: Free (no entry after 4:30pm)

Venue: Shanghai Art Collection Museum

Address: 1731 Yan'an Rd W.


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