Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14
June 1, 2010 (Tue) - August 8, 2010 (Sun)
Cizhou-type ceramics were produced in Cixian (formerly Cizhou) in China's Hebei province as well as the surrounding Huabei region. For over a thousand years, from the Tang dynasty to the present day, Cizhou-type wares have long been known and loved as folk ceramics.
The style most representative of Cizhou-type wares flourished circa the 10th to 12th centuries, from the Song to the Jin dynasties. Spurred by an increasing demand for white vessels, Cizhou potters began coating their vessels with a white clay slip under a transparent glaze, thus initiating the production of white ceramics in the region.
A variety of designs and techniques were used at the Cizhou kilns to decorate the white vessels. These included incised or impressed floral designs and sgraffito, which produced three-dimensional effects, as well as painted designs in red, yellow, black and green pigments.
From the Song dynasty, ceramics spread widely throughout Chinese society as practical objects for everyday use, and these lively Cizhou-type wares provide an example of the vessels which people depended upon in their daily lives.
Ceramic pillows were arguably the most distinctive objects produced at the Cizhou kilns, and their varied shapes and designs are imbued with the hopes and dreams of craftspeople from centuries past.