Pur­ple Sand Teapot Shows up Again at the World Expo

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Special Report - By Liu Guomin

“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.

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