30 March 2017

A shard of China in The Netherlands

This spring, two exhibitions on Chinese porcelain from two very different angles are on display in The Netherlands.

Saucer with Shou character for longevity, China, 1560-1590, porcelain (Late Ming Collection)

From 25 March, the Gemeentemuseum lets Chinese porcelain speak for itself by unravelling the mysteries behind the characters inscribed on it. China Character: The Story on Porcelain is an exhibition full of stories that will transport you to different parts of China. Stories of customs, beliefs, love, mythical figures and historical events. 

The exhibition includes porcelain from more than 15 Dutch museums and private collections. There is also a wide range of contemporary interpretations of china with painted characters, created by artists like David Derksen, Hella Jongerius, Hans van Koolwijk, Jelle Mastenbroek, Cristiana Vignatelli, Marcel Wanders and Henk Wolvers. This exhibition will be on view until 22 October. 

Royals only
From 8 April until 9 July, Chinese porcelain from the Ming dynasty, created exclusively for the Chinese emperors, is on display at Museum Prinsenhof Delft. These exceptional pieces have never been exhibited outside Asia. This exhibition, titled Forbidden porcelain – exclusively for the emperor, starts by looking at the similarities between Jingdezhen and Delft - the two 'porcelain cities' - the archaeological remains and the production of imperial chinaware.

Forbidden porcelain unveils the role that chinaware played within the imperial court. The exhibited objects belonged to the four most powerful emperors of the Ming dynasty. The porcelain often carries political, religious or artistic messages that the emperor wanted to convey.

Six promising ceramic artists from China and the Netherlands have been asked to contribute to the exhibition Forbidden porcelain – exclusively for the emperor. Their work creates a link to contemporary ceramics and strengthen the ties between the porcelain cities of Delft and Jingdezhen. The Chinese artists created a series of earthenware objects in Delft. The most ones beautiful ones are presented to Queen Máxima. Her Majesty will open the exhibition on 7 April.