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THE CELADON MASTER: Mr. Mao Zhengcong
Since last century when the Chinese government began awarding the title of China Art & Craft Master (similar to the Japanese Living National Treasure) to craftsmen, 3 ceramists who specialized in Longquan celadon have been honored thus far (through 2008). In January 2007, Mr. Mao Zhengcong was added to this extremely distinguished list. Mao is the second celadon ceramists (together with Mr. Xiaho Wen) to reach this summit. He is the first generation celadon ceramist since People of The Republic of China established in 1949.
Mao Zhengcong was born in 1940 at Longquan City of Zhejiang Province. He started the potter career since his teenage as the worker in State-owned celadon factory. In 1996 Mao built his workshop and kiln after his retirement from the Director to Celadon Research Institution of Longquan.
Mao Zhengcong's celadon artworks not only exhibit a natural, decent and classic sense of style, his many experiences in plum-green glazes and bluish glazes have produced new and unique celadon glazes that are authentically Mao Zhengcong's. Moreover Mao is the only Guan kiln 'Purple-Mouth-Iron-Foot' type apprentice that recognized by the authority in Chinese State Department.
During Mao's work in the state-owned factory his celadon artworks were appreciated by collectors in Asia already. A number of prestige persons such as Mr. Deng Xiaoping, Mrs. Margaret Thacher and Dr. Henry A. Kissinger also praised Mao's celadon as the Chinese culture treasure in early 90'. Due to the recognition from international society Mao was assigned to produce the state gift for the government since 1992. His stunning artworks also collected and exhibited by Palace Museum in Beijing, Chinese Art & Craft Museum and Celadon Museum of Longquan City to name a few.
As today Mao Zhengcong is still an active ceramist who keep propelling the art of celadon into new heights.
ABOUT THE CELADON ART: THE POND
Mao Zhengcong (1940 – present) was name a China Art & Craft Master in 2007. Part of his illustrious achievement is for the abstract iron glaze designs overlay the classic bluish glaze. His artwork most often has wonderful abstract Chinese brush work on it and such an example of his famous iron glaze is seen in THE POND.
Due to nature of the clay, celadon from Longquan kiln needs at least 1300 Celsius degrees temperature in firing. The floating glaze is totally out of control at that temperature not to mention another iron glaze is located on top of it. A success abstract drawing with stunning red color is very rare under the well-know high loss rate of celadon artwork.
In order to create the jade-like glaze the ceramist has to repeat the glazing work for several times. Thicker glaze creates the greater visual impression but on the other hand, the difficulty to manage the glazes mixture and presentation multiples.
Mao Zhengcong is the guru in making such artwork. The flying butterfly (or you may call it whatever object) on THE POND is a stunning example of Mao’s artwork, a very large bowl that is simply magical. Jade-like, the bluish glazing is extremely thick (more than 5mm at some areas) with tiny bubbles inside and out on its surface. Ancient Chinese praised the tiny bubbles that look like pearls in glaze, which also the proof of thick glazing using natural metal-free materials to present the color.
THE POND is in perfect condition and Mao Zhengcong’s signature on base with certificate signed and original wooden box form his workshop.
Year of Completion: 2005
Mouth Rim Diameter: 17.5cm
Waist Rim Diameter: 19.5cm