Concept and background
The Maritime Silk Road has been one of the most important cultural bridges between China and western countries, since it began during the Qin&Han dynasties. Officially recognized by UNESCO, Quanzhou is the eastern start point of this maritime silk road. Dehua ceramic produced in local Quanzhou was a very important aspect of the trade production historically, and was exported in quantity to South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the east of Africa. Although the route for trading ceramic overseas is as much legend as it is history, the impact that ceramic delivered to the world has not faded, rather it is also endowed with greater intellectual meaning in contemporary practice.
Contemporary ceramic creation is breaking through the old tradition of „ceramic crafts“, converting to a new artistic skill utilizing traditional techniques, becoming a new medium to express contemporary emotion, sense and concepts. In the western art world, there are many examples of ceramic masterpieces produced by famous artists, but in China, the idea of making ceramic art within a contemporary perspective is limited to only a few practitioners, and still unrecognized by the public. Therefore, Chinese contemporary ceramic art possesses a huge potential for development within an experimental framework.
This event will invite well-known artists, curators, and art critics from relevant countries following the route of the maritime silk road, to meet together in Quanzhou, China, to examine ceramic as both an ancient and contemporary medium, to engage in ceramic creation and conversation, to open a deeper dialogue that speaks from the different cultural backgrounds and perspectives towards this special medium. All these different perspectives will start the conversation by returning to the hometown of Dehua ceramic, with a history of thousand years of ceramic making which implies a Chinese traditional spirit, and explore the possibilities of how Chinese ceramic tradition might expand itself within the contemporary context. As an important trade producer and messenger of cultural communication on the ancient maritime silk road, ceramic is going to be a medium of a new dimension of Chinese contemporary art, drawing deeply on the ancient silk road tradition to promote the world to reach a common understanding and endorsement of the contemporary silk road practices.