China, Jiangxi Province
Ming period, early 15th century (probably Yongle era, 1403-1424)
Porcelain with impressed and incised design under glaze (Jingdezhen
H. 4 in. (10.2 cm), D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); 1979.158
Ong Keng Sen
As we are asked to select our favorite pieces based on photographs,
I am drawn to this white dish for its apparent simplicity. Simplicity
is hard to achieve in expression and it takes a secure person to
strive for simplicity. Looking at the photograph, I was drawn to
the fact that it could be an everyday object that I use in my kitchen.
The distance between art and daily life/design is not that much.
Time immortalizes an object; often the everyday becomes reconsidered
as art (it could be an everyday object of an emperor and then it
takes on a different significance!) The catalogue tells me that
there is under the glaze a decoration of two dragons. This makes
it, of course, more than its apparent simplicity. I am also told
that this is an example of eggshell porcelain which is much prized
as it is very difficult to fire successfully. I am looking forward
to seeing the thinness myself at the exhibition.