Archives for posts with tag: shi wan

figurineL160xD100xH120mm, China

This figurine is by the famous pottery area Shi Wan; their figurines are typical to have a glazeless delicate facial and hand depiction while contrasting with an expressive and bold glazing on the clothing.

The drunken poet, Li Bai, is a popular subject for figurine, paintings, etc., apart from his literary stature, his love for drinking also give a character for the artisan to express.



The poem “Drinking Alone under the Moon” by Li Bai, translation by W. Bynner

From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me—
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends.

To cheer me through the end of spring . . .
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
. . . Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.


W200xD150xH500mm, China

This figurine was made from the famous Shi Wan pottery town in the Guang Dong region.  Their figurines are typical to have a glazeless delicate facial and hand depiction while contrasting with an expressive and bold glazing on the clothing.  Another example can be seen in an earlier post, “Shi Wan Figurines“.

The general depicted here is one of the “3 good blokes” of the Tang dynasty, Pei Yuan Qing, his weapon is a pair of golden melon hammer.

You will be seen in this clip how the weapon  is being used (well at least in the Beijing opera).  This is a graduation show from the students of the Beijing opera school.

My dog spike has started sighing, ok ok, I promise no more Chinese opera reference for a while.

DIA150XH50mm, China

This is bowl for rinsing calligraphy brushes, these type of bowls has this specialised function but at the same time is give an artist design freedom.  Though it can be made of varies material (jade, ivory, horns, enamel, agate), the ceramic version is the most popular.  This is a green glaze Bi Xi most probably from the Shi Wan kiln.

H180xW180mm, China

In the south western part of China days are long and hot, people especially labourer require large quantity of liquid to replenish.  In the Qing dynasty, small “two cents”  tea houses are quite popular in Guangzhou.  These tea houses, furnished only with a few tables and benches, are frequented by coolie taking their breaks and sharing their stories.  Hearty food, sweets and tea would be served which is in fact the origin of the morning dim sum.  This kind of  Shi Wan green glazed teapot would be found in such tea houses.

Man H400xW150mm, China

This is a story about Zhang Chang, a noble official in the Han Dynasty who kept the country at peace for many years.  Being faithful and out spoken, others officials were jealous and would find faults in him to report to the Emperor.  Zhang’s wife was beautiful, everyday Zhang would touch up her eyebrow before going to work.  His rivals reported this to the Emperor and when he was questioned, he answered “there are more ridiculous thing a married couple would do in the bedroom, please ask me only about my duty, what I do with my wife is only my business.”  Because of the nature of the story, it is a very popular subject for work of art.  The Shi Wan area is famous for its pottery; its beautiful colour glaze, the fine detail and the capture of the gestures.

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