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Style, Skill and Modernity in the Zisha Pottery of China

Gowlland, Geoffrey (2009) 'Style, Skill and Modernity in the Zisha Pottery of China.' The Journal of Modern Craft, 2 (2). pp. 129-141.

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Abstract

In this article I present a reflection on the themes of personal style, skill and tradition, in a discussion of the making of zisha pottery (also known as Yixing pottery) produced in the Jiangsu Province of China. I ask why the notion of style, or fengge, is so important for artisans in the contemporary context. I show that it is not a contradiction for artisans to speak both of precision in techniques and of development of personal style. I also discuss how some innovations in techniques change the relation between skill and style, and argue that discourses on style in zisha ceramics must be understood in the context of competition in an economy of fame, and of wider discourses about the disappearance of "traditional" techniques.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 17496772
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.2752/174967809X463079
Depositing User: Dr Geoffrey Gowlland
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 15:25
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13997

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