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Wang Xin Du (王 新 笃 老师): Porcelain Artist - 台北 Taipei (Taiwan).

The Art of Wang's Xindu Underglaze Red Porcelain.

Wang Xin DuIt is now over thirty years that Master Wang Xsin Tu (王 新 笃 老师) has been engaged in the manufacturing and artistic creation of underglaze copper red porcelain. At the age of 20 he enrolled at the College of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan, decided to defy the challenges involved in the creation of underglaze copper red porcelain, wanting to revive an ancient art which was deemed extinct.
Tirelessly studying, testing and searching historical information and techniques from different fields of knowledge, he understood the historical errors and drawbacks in making the porcelain in that particular color.
One problem could be found in the glaze, applied far too thick and thus leading to the dripping of the material, or applied too thin, and so the drawing would fade after firing the work: most of the work became brown or blacks, after the firing stage. In addition the ever present difficulty in controlling the right degree of heat during the firing of underglaze copper red porcelain.

Virtually no one was able to recreate and enjoy the beauty of the underglaze copper red porcelain.

Wang XinDuOver the last 800 years, underglaze copper red color became almost legendary, shrouded in mystery, like a beautiful woman, a few could glimpse at her true face.
Not knowing anymore its secret, people decided to ignore the art. In addition, artists comforted themselves saying "It is difficult to control the tincture, and underglaze copper red can be achieved only once in a while." Even if they were successful in firing underglaze copper red , they did not believe it was the result of their artistic skills, but a heaven's blessing.

In order to unveil the secret of underglaze copper red Master Wang worked persistently, continuously, day after day, standing awake at night time, and literally skipping meals, devoting himself fully, with a sense of a mission, to his work. In 1981 and in 1982 he won the awards for "Best blue and white porcelain" and "Underglaze Red" conferred by the National Craft Exhibition and sponsored by the Provincial Taiwan Craft Research Institute. By that time he knew that he found the right way. Having revived the art of underglaze copper red porcelain with his own hands gave him new confidence and new energy to be put in his artistic research.

In 1985 his work "Underglaze Red Monk's Cap" was collected by the Belgium Museum, an authoritative recognition that surprised and honored the Master, happy to see his efforts to resurrect this difficult technique appreciated and rewarded by international institutions. He unveiled the truth of underglaze copper red in this century.

Wang XinDuIn 1986 and 1987 he held two solo exhibitions in Kobe (Japan) where his art surprised the Japanese connoisseurs and collectors. Amazed by his works, the public keep on lingered around in the exhibition hall to see his works again and again. He returned from Japan in 1988, and to date, regularly presents his artworks in solo exhibitions, also publishing books which show the new fruits of his research and his art making.

In 1988, Professor Yang Ying-Feng took to Beijing the artwork "Three Fishes Underglaze Red Cup" and showed it to the artist calligrapher Mr. Chao Po-Chu who, in astonishment, mistook the work for an ancient artwork made at Jingdezhen, Jiangsi. Later, historians and students of Beijing University found that it was indeed genuine underglaze copper red porcelain, something that at that time no one could create it successfully. Returning from China, the Deputy Director of the National Museum Palace Museum, Mr. Dan-Tan Jiong highly praised Master Wang Xindu.

The Master follows a regular and sober life, never smokes or drink, to keep in the best mental and physical shape and have the strength and determination to tackle the technical difficulties and challenges awaiting him in his daily work. It is his determination to inherit the craft of underglaze copper red porcelain and develop it further by demonstrating its beauty in front of the world.

Wang XinDuAfter more than thirty years of artworks, he has not only revived but surpassed the ancient techniques of working with underglaze copper red. Not content with this, he increased the difficulty of his work, adding other colors such as green, yellow, blue and gold, according to a technique that adds enormous complexity to the already difficult work and producing a multicolored underglaze porcelain that has no equal. No underglaze copper red porcelain artworks made in the past 5000 years is comparable to his.

His works are original artistic creations deeply rooted in an ancient tradition which propel the art of porcelain to a higher, refined level.

 

Excerpt and adaptation from the English original "The Art of Wang's Xindu Underglaze Red Porcelain" by Li Shih-Jen, written for the personal exhibition of the Master held in 2009 in Taiwan, by Marco Maurizio Gobbo.

 Brochure: Intruduction of Wang XinDu (Pdf 1.3 Mb) > Download

Link: Modern Art Gallery (Taiwan)