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Location:Palace of Great Benevolence（Jingren gong)
Dates: 2020-09-22 through 2020-12-20
Admission: Free with general admission ticket
From 22 September 2020 through 20 December 2020, the Palace Museum and the People’s Government of Jingdezhen jointly present the latest comparative exhibition on Ming dynasty (1368–1644) imperial kiln ceramics called “New Views on Imperial Ceramics: Comparative Exhibition of Archaeological Finds from the Ming Dynasty Imperial Kiln at Jingdezhen and Ceramics Preserved in the Palace Museum Collection” at the Palace of Great Benevolence (Jingren gong) in the Forbidden City.
On 21 September, the exhibition press conference was held at the Archery Pavilion (Jian ting) in the Forbidden City Gallery (Gugong shuyuan) in the Palace Museum. Ren Wanping, a deputy-director at the Palace Museum; Lü Chenglong, head of the Palace Museum’s Department of Objects and Decorative Arts; and Cheng Nian’ge, deputy secretary-general of the People’s Government of Jingdezhen introduced the exhibition at the event.
Jingdezhen served as an exclusive production site for court ceramics during the Ming and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties while the Forbidden City was the place of use for completed works. The Palace Museum is the largest comprehensive museum in China established on the basis of the Ming and Qing imperial palace and their collections contains an immense quantity of ceramics of the finest quality made at Ming dynasty imperial kilns. This joint exhibition with the People’s Government of Jingdezhen of collected and unearthed Ming imperial kiln ceramics is a perfect union. The aim of the exhibition is to present comparative displays of rejected, discarded, and surplus pieces (including restored pieces and fragments) alongside examples from the Palace Museum collection in the hope of more comprehensively reflecting the artistic achievements of Ming dynasty imperial kiln production as a means of providing visitors with opportunities to fully understand the types of imperial ceramics made at Jingdezhen and appreciate standard works. The exhibition is divided into three sections with the first called “Juxtaposed Red and Blue” featuring blue and white porcelain and works with underglaze red installed in the main hall of the Palace of Great Benevolence. The rear hall of the same holds the second section, called “Variegated Resplendence”, which displays ceramics with colored glazes, and the third, called “Colorful Profusion”, with various colored ceramics. The collection pieces and ceramic specimens on display total 196 pieces or sets.
In 2014, the Palace Museum and the People’s Government of Jingdezhen signed a framework agreement, which included mutually utilizing each party’s advantages by way of jointly organizing a comparative exhibition series on Ming dynasty imperial kiln ceramics. Since 2015, five exhibitions in the series have been held as well as one exhibition of new archaeological achievements; each event has been widely acclaimed by visitors, ancient ceramics specialists, collectors, and connoisseurs with rather positive benefits for society at large.
During this concurrence of the sixth centennial of the completed construction of the Forbidden City and the ninety-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Palace Museum, the Palace Museum and the People’s Government of Jingdezhen in jointly presenting this exhibition aim to give an account of the latest archaeological research and presentation of ceramic sherds unearthed from the ruins of the Ming dynasty imperial kilns of Jingdezhen. Since works on view date from each reign of the Ming dynasty, the exhibition may be seen as the final chapter in the cooperation beginning in 2015 between the two parties to organize comparative exhibitions of Ming dynasty imperial kiln ceramics.
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu