Pure or idiosyncratic?

Form in oriental ceramics

04 April 2009 to 11 April 2010

The forms of the Chinese and Japanese ceramics from the tenth to the nineteenth centuries are the exceptional feature of this exhibition.

The repertoire of forms for Chinese ceramics for the domestic market is very limited. The repertoire is limited to the pot, bowl, jug, dish and vase. It seems as if Chinese potters were absolutely uninterested in creating new or unusual forms with a specific function. But they did generate endless variations of a few forms and sought perfection in these: the so-called ‘pure forms’.

However, when the Chinese potters began to produce for non-Chinese customers and markets, the demand for specially manufactured objects with a clearly specified function began to rise. An almost infinite variety of occasionally erratic and bizarre forms thus developed.

The exhibition plays with the contrast between these pure and idiosyncratic forms.