Mr. Chen Ming Jun’s Zisha Teapot Exhibition
In celebration of the College’s 10th anniversary, the opening ceremony of “Chen Ming Jun’s Zisha Teapot Exhibition” was held in the Gallery of S.H. Ho College on 17 March. The exhibition was a display of close to 50 teapots made by Mr. Chen Ming Jun, Mrs. Chen and their son. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Chen; Ms. Peng Jie, Director, Department of Publicity, Cultural and Sports Affairs, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK; Prof. Samuel Sun, Master of S.H. Ho College; Prof. Josh Yiu, Director, Art Museum of CUHK; and Ms. Chu Ling Kwan, representative of Student Union Executive Council of S.H. Ho College. The exhibition was closed on 2 June, 2017.
After the ceremony, Mr. Chen demonstrated how to make a teapot during a workshop. He first beat and forged zisha (purple clay) with a wooden bat and paddle. Then, the clay became thin and long fit for forming the desired shape of different parts of a teapot including body, handle and lid. It is said that pellets in the original clay were in different size. The mixture and ratio of the clay were all diverse. To strike a balance for an excellent piece of work, an artisan needs a pair of good hands. In the workshop, the audience were all amazed by the breath-taking handcraft of Mr. Chen.
For Mr. Chen, the size of his hands says something about him. He could make small and refined teapots which are all given elegant and sophisticated names, such as “Realizing the Approach of Autumn”, “High Sky”, “Meaning of Well”, “Beauty of Small Jade”, “Words of Zen”, “Cool Plum”. These names not only tells the concepts and designs of the handmade teapots but also outlines Mr. Chen’s philosophy. One could tell from these names that the artist’s internal world is replete with seclusion and reflection.
Artists are in persistent pursuit of an ideal world. Mr. Chen is no exception. Born in the 70s, he comes from a family of ceramic art in Dingshu town, City of Yixing, China. He has developed a deep interest in art since childhood. When attending school, he learnt the related skills and knowledge from Mr. Shao Jiasheng. After graduating from high school, he went to a training centre for making zisha containers. He successfully mastered the pottery art in one year instead of three years required by the curriculum. Throughout his 25 years of craftsmanship, Mr. Chen has insisted on applying the best natural clay in teapot making with his skilful hands.