In 2013 my wife and I joined a tour to the Silk Road in Western China. After the tour we stayed and explored Beijing for 10 days on our own. We visited old friends, made new friends, visited a large private bonsai collection with over 500 trees, went to the viewing stone market and ventured outside of Beijing to places that are unlikely to be included in most tour package routes.
We enjoy going to museums and prefer to see things leisurely at our own pace, and in more details. We went to Beijing’s Capitol Museum which was having a special exhibition, called Treasures of the Palace Museum – Empress Dowager Cixi’ Porcelain. Since I am also interest in Chinese porcelain, it was a rare opportunity for me to see one hundred pieces of late 19th century imperial porcelains and their related archived documents on public display in one place. A special treat for bonsai enthusiasts is to see more than ten antique bonsai and flower pots among the displays. I have visited the Palace Museum in Taipei several times, but no photography was allowed. At least I could take pictures here, but no flash or tripod.
I was organizing digital photos in my backup drive, and found a number of bonsai penjing pot photos I took during my travels. I want to share them with you, starting with photos I took at the Nanjing Museum, China, in 2004. In most art museums, one seldom see bonsai pot on display, perhaps one or two in the Asian Art or Ceramic section. The unusual high number of pots displayed in the Nanjing Museum might be due to a temporary special exhibition rather than permanent displays. Honestly, I do not remember. They are all behind glass, and the photos are, therefore, not very sharp and have reflections or glares.
17th – Early 18th Century Kangxi Period Pots:
The Kangxi period pots are gorgeous and highly artistic. The clay, glaze and craftsmanship were of superb qualities. The Kangxi period was at the golden age of the Qing dynasty.
Qing dynasty Kangxi (1662-1722) blue and white round pot.
Qing dynasty Kangxi (1662-1722) blue and white rectangular pot with the mythical Eight Immortals. H: 18 cm, W: 33 cm, D: 22cm.
This is a Chinese underglaze red shohin pot made in Jingdezhen, the most famous pottery center in China well known for their high fired ceramics. In the mid-2000, a vice-president of the Taiwan Bonsai Society commissioned Jingdezhen artists to make underglaze red, blue-and-white, and famille rose bonsai pots and sold them in Taiwan. Since production had discontinued, they became collectibles.