Tongguan Kiln

Time: 2012. 10. 16

Place: Changsha, Hunan

People: Xu Gang, Er Ge, Dong Dong, Wang Peng, Wang Xiaowen, Chen Xinggung, Peng Zeng, Peng Zhucai, Chen Xingyu

Six years ago, I went to the Tongguan kiln, so the little town near the Xiang River has always lingered in my mind.

In 2012, we a band of fellows headed for Tongguan kiln for the expedition and record of a design whose theme is front side. Front side is an attitude and method, straight, not ambiguous. The innovative designs of Tongguan series are the best example of front side, with a social, economic and political thread running from the great prosperity of Tang Dynasty to the present decay.

The glorious Tang Dynasty is remote memories, and the exquisiteness and style of the Tongguan craft are not our emphasis. Instead, we are moved by massive and crude products emerged from China’s foundation to 1980s in order to serve the small-scale peasant economy. The beauty of grass root, plain and unvarnished, has a profound power, which is often the source of design. We visited every corner of the eight ceramic factories and a research institute built in that period. They have been a vast area of relic. Such dilapidated beauty, striking people’s hearts, lets them hear and touch the glory and bustle in the past and impulses them to cry.

The front side series is still under design, and the achievements have not yet take shape. We a band of fellows have placed passion and expectation on it, so I think there will be a harvest.

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