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Date: Tuesday 9 January 2024
Registration: 6:30 – 7:00pm
Lecture: 7:00 – 8:00pm
Place: 1/F, China Room
The Hong Kong Club
Dinner: 8:15pm (NOTE CHANGE: Dinner will be held at the HK Club)

The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong is delighted to welcome Dr Sabrina Rastelli to present a talk on the aesthetics of Chinese ceramics in the Northern Song (960–1127) and early Jin (1115–1234) dynasties.

Ceramics made in China from the 10th to the 14th century were documented as being impressive in quality, variety and quantity in records written over time by eager connoisseurs. Since the 1950s archaeological excavations have confirmed these reports with evidence. However, for too long the appreciation of Song wares and the interpretation of archaeological results have been subordinated to scholarly writings, which can offer some guidance, but are not consistent. Song records are scarce and tend to be rather concise; Ming and Qing texts are more numerous, but less reliable. Not only are they written much later, they reflect the tastes of later connoisseurs in their appreciation of Song wares – or what they believed to be Song. As such, these texts should no longer be relied upon to interpret Song ceramics.

Between the 10th and the 14th centuries, many changes occurred in the styles of, and the production of ceramics. Using archaeological evidence, this talk will address how and why these changes occurred. Is the traditional method of studying kiln centres individually still valid or should we look at the development of Chinese ceramics from a more interconnected and contextual perspective? This talk will concentrate on the production of ceramics between the 11th and early 12th centuries to reveal the mechanics of aesthetic change.

Dr. Sabrina Rastelli is Professor of Chinese Art and Archaeology at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, where she has been teaching since 1999. She received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research interests include the development of Chinese ceramics, Song dynasty culture, funerary art and contemporary art. She has written extensively on Chinese ceramics and is the author of The Yaozhou kilns: a re-evaluation (2008) and Chinese Art: from the origins to the Tang dynasty (2016, in Italian, first of two volumes). She is currently fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

We remind members to abide by the Hong Kong Club’s smart dress code for guests: Business Smart (Jeans, T-shirts, tracksuits, shorts, shoes for sports activities and flip-flops are not acceptable. No denim may be worn at any time in the Club.)


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