North China
Tang period, 8th-9th century,
Stoneware with glaze
H. 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm), D. 11 in. (27.9 cm); 1979.130

Artist Comments

Xu Bing
In the 1980s I went to the mountain area of northern China to try to better understand the culture of the people living there. I found many farmers were using such Tang-period jars as this one for storing rice or salt. I said to them, "Those are valuable cultural relics." The owners replied, "These jars are not convenient. If you can bring us some plastic containers, well find more ceramic jars for you." So now, I actually have some of these jars in my storage room. Whenever I see these cultural relics displayed in museums, I recall the time I saw similar jars sitting on the farmers' cooking counters.