About This Project

Centuries of know-how Jingdezhen

Called the porcelain capital, Jingdezhen survives today on the remnants of an industry that did not take the technological turn in the 1990’s.

In 1995, 95% of Jingdezhen’s porcelain factories went bankrupt, 25 state-owned factories closed their doors leaving 70,000 people unemployed. Private sector competitors from coastal areas who were able to develop modern production techniques left the thousand-year-old porcelain capital reeling. Over the centuries, the Jingdezhen porcelain industry had always managed to survive and overcome the crises that came its way. Today, factories are being broken up and repurposed by small private entrepreneurs trying to survive globalization by rediscovering the centuries-old know-how and ancestral patterns that were banished during the Cultural Revolution. We had the honor of being received by Mrs. Jeng, one of only a handful of female masters of ceramic, whose drawings on traditional porcelains are world renowned and sold around the globe by high profile auction houses. She and her husband share a refined taste for traditional Chinese art and are both critical of Chinese-style modernity. Together, they train apprentices in the hopes of perpetuating the traditions that made their city the porcelain capital of the World for almost two thousand years.