2017, (23,9 x 30 cm), 256 pp. English text, numerous colour ills., hardcover.
This book focuses on selections from the Jie Rui Tang Collection of Kangxi porcelain, formed with care and dedication over a thirty-five year period. Unlike most Chinese porcelain collections, this one consists exclusively of wares from a single production period. The decision to concentrate on the Kangxi period came primarily from its collector's deep appreciation for Kangxi aesthetics: strong and fluid brushwork, the visual brilliance of the glazes, and the range and depth of decorative subject matter emerging from a pivotal period of Chinese history. The Jie Rui Tang Collection is unique not only in its singular focus on the Kangxi era, but also in its insistence on high quality. This publication features a selection of 120 out of hundreds of superlative examples. These have been chosen as a means to invite discussion and appreciation for their aesthetic appeal, technical achievement, and diverse subject matter. Instead of the traditional Western presentation, which groups porcelains by palette, a thematic approach has been chosen in order to present the wares in a way more closely aligned with their original purpose: a gift for a significant birthday, a ritual ware, or perhaps a token of encouragement to an aspiring scholar. Almost every decorative component on Kangxi wares has significance, whether a motif associated with a particular theme, such as deer or cranes with longevity; a combination of particular flowers and animals forming a pun rebus, where their names have homonyms that together form a message such as "may you rise in rank"; conveying an auspicious wish, such as with the Chinese character for happiness; or depicting a scene from a famous story as a parable. A single piece of porcelain will often employ multiple themes and decorative devices to enhance its meaning. Meanings can also be amplified through the choice of forms, borders, and even base marks.