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The Way of Water

Chen Yanglong, Chen Li & Shen Bin

22 May - 28 May 2024

'The Way of Water' presents the inaugural solo exhibition by the artisan from Chenyanglong Kiln based in China, curated by Duoduo Huang, and featuring visual design by Yuanze Che—co-founders of Granary
Art. This exhibition not only showcases the inheritance and innovation of several generations of intangible heritage craftsmen from the Chen family in Liling, since the creation of Liling Underglaze Multicoloured
Porcelain at the end of the Qing Dynasty to the present day but also initiates a dialogue between Eastern and Western ceramic cultures centred around Liling Underglaze Polychrome Porcelain. 

Similar to the 'Five Colours of Ink' in traditional Chinese painting, there is a saying in ceramic painting craftsmanship - 'Five Colours of Material'. Both are inseparable from the transformational power of water. Chen Yanglong Kiln innovated the 'Light Painting and Shallow Infiltrating', a technique in underglaze polychrome painting, seemingly creating an effect of thinness and lightness, yet it contains the infinite tension of water. Water awakens it, and the flow of colours makes it translucent, transforming the dazzling beauty of traditional Liling Underglaze Coloured Porcelain into implicit and gentle beauty, thus opening up a unique ceramic aesthetic with ingenuity. 

Through the cultural symbol evoked by the use of water, Chen Yanglong bridges the traditional with the contemporary. In traditional Chinese painting, expressive realism is achieved through depicting the essence
of subjects, commonly expressed as 'depicting form to convey essence'. Throughout his creative process, Chen seamlessly integrates compositional elements, object forms, and his inner imaginary world, reflecting a philosophical perspective of unity between nature and humanity. In decorative patterns, Chen specialises in underglaze realistic floral motifs. Through his mastery of realistic techniques and decorative composition, his works vividly portray nature with an elegant, serene, and noble demeanour, showcasing a unique style often described as Zen amidst flowers and plants. 

During the preparation of the exhibition, the master craftsmen of Chen Yanglong Kiln introduced the development history and artistic characteristics of Liling Underglaze Multicoloured Porcelain to ceramic
artists and designers in London, sharing the specific operational techniques and creative experiences of the 'Light Painting and Shallow Infiltrating' technique. Ceramic artists and designers in London also spontaneously created and painted ceramics using this technique, and these experimental works will also be displayed in the exhibition, aiming to bring more creative inspiration and cultural experiences to the

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