Yuchengco Museum Presents Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines

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byCassie Cheng

The Yuchengco Museum showcases more than a hundred blue-and-white ceramics from 16th to 17th century China in an exhibit entitled Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines: “Swatow” Export Ceramics from Fujian 16th – 17th Century. On view from October 11, 2007 to January 16, 2008, the exhibit displays 125 pieces of ceramics produced by pottery kilns from the Zhangzhou district of Fujian, China. The exhibit is organized by the Yuchengco Museum in collaboration with The Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines, and ArtPost Asia.

Zhangzhou ware was produced in the 16th and 17th centuries amidst a dramatic trading landscape. It played a significant role in an era when the new European market was founded and the trade ban in the Ming dynasty lifted. As Europe became the main focus of China’s largest ceramic producers, Zhangzhou ware was produced more to meet the demand of old customers in Asia.

Today, the rustic charm of Zhangzhou ware has made it a sough-after trade ceramic. The ware’s vibrant paintings of human figures, flowers, lakesides, mythical creatures, and birds make up for physical imperfections and are a favorite among Asian and European collectors.

Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines illustrates the variety of Zhangzhou ware shipped to the Philippines during the 16 – 17th century of the Ming dynasty. Also featured in the exhibit are monochrome and polychrome pieces, as well as images and artifacts from the San Diego and San Isidro shipwrecks.

The exhibit is accompanied by an extensive catalog by Rita Tan, guest curator and President of The Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines. In her essay, Tan describes the range of shapes and designs of Zhangzhou ware pieces that abound in the country. Other catalog contributors include Li Jian An, Eusebio Dizon, and Bobby Orillaneda. The softcover book is available at the museum’s books and gifts corner for P2,000.

In conjunction with the exhibit, a contemporary pottery show entitled Poetry in Function: A Glimpse at Contemporary Pottery highlights 15 pieces of studio pottery by artist-potters Jaime de Guzman, Jon Pettyjohn, Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, Ugu Bigyan, and Hadrian Mendoza.

The Yuchengco Museum is located at the Ground Floor of RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala & Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati City. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except Sundays and holidays. For more information, call 889.1234 or e-mail [email protected].


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