TOUR: The ‘Mingei’ Tradition in Central China
13th March – 5th April 2008
Suzhou, Guilin & the tribal areas of Guizhou Province,
Ji’an & Jingdezhen the porcelain
It will be 30 years next Spring since I first travelled
with a group of
potters, including Janet Leach.
It had taken three years to get permission for
our trip, during which time Mao had died and the Gang of
Four were in the ascendancy!
In the Spring we will start in
famous for its gardens.
When the Mongols invaded north
the court moved south and its scholars and painters
created their worlds within the confines of these
hope to visit other artists and craftsmen during our
I had always imagined classical Chinese painting
as mythical landscapes of the imagination but as we
first flew into
GUILIN I was stunned to find them a reality and our river trip to
YANGSHUO will give us time to relax and take it all in!
The mountainous area of GUIZHOU
PROVINCE, through which we will travel, is home to
thirteen different tribal people’s, each with their own
style of hair and dress whether woven, plain dyed
indigo, batik or embroidered.
Magnificent finely tooled silver ornaments,
basketry and musical instruments, architecture and
‘sheltered’ bridges give witness to these differences.
we will visit the unique mausoleum of the Marquis of
Dai, his wife and son, which date to the 2nd
She was found ‘intact’ in her tomb, so much so that
scientists performed an autopsy on her and were able to
tell the contents of her last meal.
Until that time they did not think melon part of
the diet but there were undigested melon pips in her
Food for the journey was found with her as well
as the finest silk threaded garments, weighing no more
than a single stocking, clothing and decorated banners,
superb lacquerwares and wooden objects.
A layer of china clay surrounding the tomb had
help in its preservation!
The museum housing these artefacts is a riot of
reds and blacks.
From here we will travel to Ji’an (JIZHOU)
its black wares and visit kiln sites and
potters who still make the traditional wares.
the porcelain capital of China, we will visit the
museum of Badashanren a famous Chan (Zen) Painter.
We hope to have a demonstration of calligraphy
and Sumi painting during our stay at Sanbao which will
be our base in
It is situated in the countryside outside Jingdezhen which has
developed from my first visit in 1984 into quite a
One of the high-lights of a previous visit was to
watch two potters throwing together approx. 50 kilos of
clay and assembling large porcelain vases in 5 / 6
We will also have visits to studios and
Wenying, our co-ordinator and fellow-traveller and
‘boss-lady’ at Sanbao has offered, for those of us who
wish, a one, two or three week extended stay when we can
really get our hands into the porcelain clay etc, for
approximately an additional £100 per week.
(including internal flights):
/ Shanghai / London:
Single Room Supplement:
Please do not hesitate in contacting me should you have
any questions about this trip or would be interested in
joining another in the future.
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