「如影隨形～青白瓷之美 The Beauty of Qingbai」
An age of booming prosperity has bequeathed an endless variety of porcelain, not merely reaching a peak in the history of ceramics, but influencing everything that comes after it. Jingdezhen ini Jiangxi is the capital of Chinese porcelain. As early as the opening years of the Northern Song, Jingdezhen was already making fake Ding ware. Among the kilns doing so were the Hutian kiln and the Zhushan kiln, important sites of Qingbai porcelain manufacture.
‘Qingbai’ means the body is extremely white, but the layer of glaze in areas where it runs thick appears a slight bluish tinge. Blue and white form and interesting contrast. Due to this, Qingbai porcelain has interesting names, such as ‘shadow blue,’ ‘dazzling blue,’ or ‘hidden blue.’
The Song porcelain arts displayed a lack of purposeful sensory stimulation. They were not created as art per se, but rather to guide the senses, to bring forth from nothing, from emptiness create a feeling of lightness. The way one moves from shadow to light. This aspect of bluish-white porcelain is the highest artistic achievement. The colors applied to the white base, ever so lightly, ever so tenderly, like line after line, trickled in rivulets on a snowy field, thin lines of blue. Qingbai is an romantic, poetic porcelain. It appeared in the Song in great volumes. Actually, it’s not surprising that there was such rich, luxuriant color, which was transformed into simple ink painting of the Song. Song porcelain also employed monochrome, yet enriched with the most colorful thought making the object itself come alive with energy. Ju, Guan, Ding and Qingbai ware all are precious for expressing this pure aesthetic.
There are three conditions for the perfect firing of Qingbai ware: An extremely white body, a translucent glaze, a touch of blue on the white with incised decorations or impressed patterns.
Among Song dynasty kilns, Ding and Jingdezhen fired first-rate white porcelain, especially Jingdezhen kiln. In the early years of the Northern Song, Jingdezhen began to imitate Ding. Some especially fine products were termed ‘Southern Ding.’ It was proud to be grouped with Hebei Ding ware. Both Northern and Southern were extant, even here are some pieces of ‘Powder Ding.’ They are whiter than the ivory white hue of genuine Ding. It proves that Jingdezhen wares are exquisitely white, in both clay body and glaze. Indeed, they meet the fundamental requirements for Qingbai porcelain. Moreover, Jingdezhen Qingbai ware and Ding ware alike have thin, uniform walls. Under light, the snow-white body appears translucent, signifying a high degree of vitrification. Now the lens reveals that there is an, incised pattern under the glaze. These indented areas accumulate a larger amount of glaze. Due to this, the glaze is less transparent. The bluish-white glaze components will appear a lovely shade of blue in the areas where the glaze is thicker. Moreover, they create a beautiful decoration contrasted with the pure white body.