Purple Sand Teapot Shows up Again at the World Expo
“We are willing to contribute to the international cultural communication through the purple sand teapot featured as a national gift by participating the World Expo, or in other forms,” said Ke Junfeng, deputy director of Yixing Purple Sand Art Research Center in Jiangxi Province of China. He also expressed his excitement at his participation in the Astana World Expo. The center is the designated gift supplier for the China Pavilion this time.
It was more than a century ago when the purple sand teapot was first known through the World Expo. “At the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, the Duoqiuhu (in a shape of triple stacked balls) by Chinese pot-making craftsman Cheng Shou-zhen won a golden award. It was the World Expo that helped China established fame in ceramic culture,” Ke Junfeng said proudly.
As Ke pointed out, the purple sand teapots are artworks, and an important carrier of tea culture, since along the ancient Silk Road, not only silk and china were transported, but also tea and tea sets like purple sand teapots.
The design of purple sand teapots is a challenge, as it is a comprehensive art requiring expertise in sculpture and decorative design, but also in-depth understanding of traditional Chinese calligraphy, painting and poetry. The founder of Yixing Purple Sand Art Research Center, Wang Chengqiong, managed to merge different art forms of calligraphy, painting, seal cutting, poetry, sculpture, modern pottery and so on into his creation of purple sand works, and was very successful. In 2005, his teapot art works were presented as national gifts to the state leaders attending the 11th ASEAN summit. In 2014, the five teapots created especially for the state leaders (of China, the U.S., Russia, Austrialia and South Korea) for APEC China 2014 by Wang Chengqiong and his wife Fan Guoying were spoken of highly. In 2016, the teapot designed by Wang Chengqiong was selected as the dedicated teapot for leaders at the G20 Hangzhou summit.
Ke believes that China should have a cultural influence with powerful cultural carriers, since the United States can export their culture by movies and Japan by anime.
The Chinese traditional arts and crafts may not catch as quickly in the fast moving, contemporary world, so he suggests exporting Chinese crafts as luxuries, in order to win recognition among VIPS and to establish a brand, helping promote influence in local markets. “At the same time, we should provide more personalized and customized options, and integrate intelligent elements, transforming purple sand teapot a cultural symbol and carrier besides the functions.”
Ke said that the research center is now seeking to cooperate with Huawei, intending to open teahouses around Huawei offices across the world together.