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The Purple Sand Narrative, Spotlight Taiwan

Date: Now Until 06/18

Venue: New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum

TRAIN-->Take a commuter train to Yingge train station, the museum is a 10-minute walk from the Wenhua Rd. exit.

Travel Frog Reenacted on Zhisha Teapot26 classically-styled Zhisha teapots and related artworks from all over the world would grace this feature exhibition, the “Classical Zhisha” Section; all of the pieces are representative of first-class teapot-making craftsmanship. Amongst the exhibits is a purple sand square teapot on loan from a Taiwanese collector. It is made in the late 17th and early 18th Century by the atelier of Zheng Jingyu, a master teapot maker in the Qin Dynasty. This teapot, with its body, knob, support and handle all in rectangular shape, is a rare masterpiece. Its body, formed through xiang shen tong coiling method, is evenly covered by fine sands of a light coloring. Simply put, the teapot was evenly ‘marinated’ by sand. “Isn’t it like covering pig blood cake with peanut powder?” Commented a creative visitor, who has certainly drawn parallel between heritage teapot-making technique and local Taiwanese food! 

Another notable exhibit in the showplace is a zhisha ‘Hanchen’ oval-shaped teapot with bamboo deco. Its body, spout and handle are a fair facsimile of bamboo joints, its knob is in the shape of a three-leg toad, with cloisonné and landscape on the surface. The style was common in the 18th Century. Next to the toad is another masterpiece, a zhisha flat-shape teapot with a crab knob. Its flat-shape body is merely the length between two knuckles. Teapot of this kind, which is extremely difficult to make, is a rare gem. Crab, in the Chinese tradition, is a symbol of academic excellence. The combination of toad and crab reminds the audience the popular mobile game ‘Travel Frog’ and its crab friend. As a result, these two pots become the focus of many selfies. Creators of the “Travel Frog” were indeed inspired by the 18th Century teapots!

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