Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Jiansheng Li is one of the speakers at the Australian Ceramics Triennale. I have seen Jiangsheng speak a couple of times and he is an inspiring, poetic and powerful speaker. Jiangsheng is the founder of the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen , China.
I have seen quite a few artists speak over the years but Jackson Li was one of the ones that has stayed with me and genuinely influences my day to day work in the studio. I can't quite put my finger on why I loved his talks and demonstrations so much. Was it his story of travelling back from Canada to his hometown in China? The affection and connection Jackson Li feels for "his place"? Was it Jackson Li's preoccupation with finding good food in a small Australian town?
(a preoccupation I share) The first time I spoke to Jackson Li was when the bus carrying us further and further west for the conference stopped at a Macdonald's for lunch.. A large protesting groan went up among the potters but most people stayed at Fast Food Hell and made do. Jackson and I set off towards the town. After walking VERY fast for a couple of kilometres we came to a greasy spoon and before I could warn him Jackson Li ordered a Dim Sim! Delicious if you are eating them straight from the vendors cart in China absolutely horrible deep fried in five day old fat beyond the Black Stump!
Jackson Li gave me one of the nicest compliments on my work I have ever received which also contains some advice I try to follow.
"Shannon your work is just like you very sweet but a little bit spice" A little spice can make all the difference.
Here is an introduction to the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute.
"Sanbao began as a dream of Jackson Li of Jingdezhen and Wayne Higby of Alfred University, USA back in the mid-1990's. They envisioned an international ceramic art center located in China, that would provide the opportunity to the international arts and crafts community to explore and exchange the culture, arts and crafts of China.
The concept of a first international ceramic art center in China led to the search for a suitable site on the outskirts of Jingdezhen, long the world center of porcelain production and the origin of the best porcelain artifacts in history.
The Sanbao Valley had for countless centuries been the source of China stone for the studios of Jingdezhen and was dotted with numerous old water-powered hammer mills for crushing the stone. A group of farm houses and an adobe building were chosen as the site for the future art center."
From the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute Website.
Jiangsheng Li (also known as Jackson Li) is also a renowned brush maker and will be doing a brushmaking demonstration at the Triennale. I have one of Jackson's brushes and the quality of the line it produces would make any ceramic decorator swoon. These brushes are just a small sample of the wonderful brushes for sale on the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute website.
On Friday the 17th of July there will be a screening of the international award winning film titled 'Potter and Dragon Kiln Village' by Jiansheng Li (Jackson Li)at COFA
(COFA is an easy 5 minute walk from the National Art School)