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16 Jun 2007 - 07 Oct 2007

The University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong and the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath (UK) are delighted to present an exhibition of "Chinese Ceramics and the Maritime Trade Pre-1700" in partnership with the British Council. The exhibition is organised by the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath (UK), and is made possible with the support of the Li & Fung Group, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, East Asian Art Foundation and Great Eagle Holdings Limited.

The sea trade of ancient China has prospered since the seventh century. Maritime trade routes were important in linking the East and the West, and ports such as Guangzhou in the south and Quanzhou in the east thrived during the Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and early Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, leading to the flourishment of Chinese export ceramics.

This exhibition features over 100 pieces of ceramic ware dating from the Tang (618-907) to the early Qing dynasties to provide an insight into the importance of Chinese ceramics made for export before 1700 and the involvement of the Arabs, Japanese, Portuguese, Dutch and other European markets in this maritime trade. Through the exhibits, it explores the history and diversity of ceramic wares produced in private kilns of China.

A symposium, which is free to the public, will be held in conjunction with the exhibition at the Museum at 2 pm on Saturday 16 June. It will bring together archaeologists and ceramic scholars from China, Southeast Asia, and the United Kingdom, highlighting recent advances in the study on trade ceramics. Speakers include Mr Brian McElney, Honorary Keeper of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath; Christine van der Pijl-Ketel, Centre of International Heritage Activities, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Dr. Roxanna M. Brown, Director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum, Bangkok University, Thailand; and scholars from China include Mr Cao Ganyuan, Academic Director of the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, Jiangxi province; Mr Li Jian'an, Director of the Archaeological Research Institute, Fujian Museum; and Ms Rita C. Tan, Curator of the Ceramic Gallery of Kaisa Heritage Center in Manila, the Philippines, will be the moderator.


Wucai glazed kendi with garlic mouth and cover decorated with two dragons,

the base with underglaze blue fungus mark

 Qing dynasty, early Kangxi period (1662-1683)

 H: 21.9 cm BATEA 917

 (Photo courtesy of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath) 


Kraak blue and white klapmuts bowl with pagoda and seascape 

 Late Ming dynasty, c. 1610-1620 

 D: 22.2 cm BATEA 161 

 (Photo courtesy of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath)


Tripod bulb bowl with qilin in white slip Zhangzhou kiln, Fujian province 

 Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period (1572-1620) D: 21.6 cm BATEA 630

 (Photo courtesy of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath) 

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