Chinese Ceramics: The Wong Collection

May 12 – July 28, 1985

“CHINESE CERAMICS: The Wong Collection,” goes on view at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco from May 12 to July 28. Organized by the Phoenix Art Museum where the collection is housed, the exhibition is comprised of 60 objects selected from more than 175 pieces in the collection. The Wongs, born in China, began acquiring ceramics in Canton during the 1930s and 1940s and brought their collection to the united States in the late 1940s. Having grown in size and scope, the collection today covers the period from the 11th to the 19th centuries and includes both utilitarian wares and imperial-quality vessels. It is particularly strong in celadon pieces of the 14th and 15th centuries as well as blue-and-white porcelains of the 17th century.

The exhibition reflects the diverse styles and techniques of Chinese ceramic manufacture and illustrates the ingenuity of the Chinese potter whose works show an interplay between traditional forms and aesthetic experimentation. Ceramic types represented include vases, flasks, incense-burners, brush-stands, candle-holders, fish-bowls, garden-stools, and figurrines. Monochrome-glazed Jun stoneware and lustrous Longquan celadon of the Song dynasty are notable for their subdued elegance and simplicity. A more decorative taste, in contrast, may be seen in the Ming blue-and-white porcelains adorned with pictorial landscape and figgure scenes or with stylized floral motifs. Later imperial polychromes are striking for their overglazes of pink (famille rose) or green (famille verte) enamels in ornate designs. Incised, carved, and applique decorations enliven the surface treatments of some ceramic pieces, while streaked and mottled fur-like effects create interesting textures for others. A fully illustrated catalogue of 86 pages and 150 plates by Dr. Claudia Brown, Curator of Asian Art at the Phoenix Art Museum, is available for $10.00 in the gallery shop.

A preview reception will be held at the Chinese Culture Center on Saturday, May 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. Films (in English) on Chinese ceramics and art will be featured: “Jingdezhen, China’s Porcelain Capital,” “Pearl of the Porcelain Country,” (produced by the People’s Republic of China) and “Chinese Art: Of Heaven, Earth, and Man” (prqduced by Wan-go Weng) , will be shown during the preview reception at 1 p.m. and again on Saturday, June 1 at 1 p.m. in the Center’s auditorium.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is free to the exhibition and film presentations. Funding for presenting the exhibition at the Center in San Francisco is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and California Arts Council.