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Saturday, July 08, 2017, 14:12
Berlin bedecked by China's prosperous porcelain past
By Cecily Liu
Saturday, July 08, 2017, 14:12 By Cecily Liu

A Chinese artist demonstrates a porcelain musical instrument at an exhibition in Berlin, on July 6, 2017, forming part of a series of Chinese cultural events in Germany. (Shan Yuqi / Xinhua)

More than 100 pieces of rare Chinese porcelain are on display at Berlin's KPM Royal Porcelain Factory until Saturday, dazzling local audiences with refined designs, beautiful colors and intricate craftsmanship.

The four-day exhibition showed porcelain bowls, vases, and other artworks, such as a porcelain boat, peacock and necklaces. Visitors could also see a live demonstration of porcelain making.

Zhong Zhisheng, Party chief of Jingdezhen from Jiangxi province, famous for its long-accumulated porcelain-making history, said: "Porcelain is an important ambassador of Chinese culture internationally, a witness to Chinese and Western cultural integration and a bridge to our friendship with other countries."

The event, Porcelain and Ceramics of Jingdezhen, was hosted by China's State Council Information Office and the Chinese Embassy in Germany.

Porcelain can also be used to make musical instruments, so the exhibition is accompanied by music performances using such instruments.

Opened two days before the G20 Summit in Hamburg, the exhibition is part of a series of events in Germany focusing on Chinese culture.

Others include an exhibition on Chinese figure paintings, an exhibition on pandas, Chinese music and dance concerts and a Chinese lantern display.

Porcelain is already very familiar to international audiences. From the 16th century onward, Chinese porcelain has been exported to Europe and has been manufactured in Europe since around 1700.

It was also one of the Chinese exports that spread via trade routes such as the Silk Road.

Ferdinand von Richthofen, a 19th century German explorer, who was also a professor of geography at the University of Berlin, was the one of the first people to define the concept of the Silk Road in his book China: The Results of My Travels and the Studies Based Thereon.

In 1869, von Richthofen visited Jingdezhen to study porcelain, giving the exhibition in Berlin a particular significance, Zhong said.

Jorg Woltmann, CEO of KPM Royal Porcelain Factory, said porcelain from Jingdezhen spread along the ancient Silk Road to Europe.

"It brought economic prosperity, and brought cultural understanding, leaving a legacy of many moving stories and friendships."

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