The Vase Project celebrates the art of copying and the role of the usually anonymous artist in Jingdezhen. Working with 101 blank vases, the curators created a visual chain letter selecting factory workers and painters from independent workshops around the city to copy and hand‐paint a blue-and-white contemporary landscape based on their original sketch of the smoke stacks of Jingdezhen. The project took place sequentially over a two year period: the first factory artist received the sketch which he/she copied on a blank vessel which was then fired and passed on to the next artist to copy on a new identical blank vase and so on. This exhibition reveals that even when working by rote or mimetically the anonymous artist’s individual brushstrokes contribute to a singular one-off aesthetic within mass‐production.
Curated by Barbara Diduk, Charles A. Dana, Professor of Art at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Zhao Yu, Assistant Professor at the Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China