Feature: Turkish ceramic artist meets new opportunities in China's "porcelain capital"
Chinese porcelains including those from Jingdezhen are seen at the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 20, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua) For the last 10 years in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, Turkish ceramic artist Ekrem Yazici has been creating elegant porcelain artworks, reflecting the cultural integration of Turkey and China into his designs. In 2009, Yazici paid his first visit to Jingdezhen, a small city in the mountains of east China's Jiangxi Province, and decided to pursue a master's degree in ceramic design at Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute. "I have got abundant knowledge of porcelains in Western countries, while in China, I could fill gaps in knowledge about Chinese porcelain, the birthplace where porcelain has its roots," Yazici told Xinhua during a recent interview in the city, which is known as the porcelain capital of the world. After his graduation, Yazici settled down in this city and opened his atelier.
Chinese porcelains including those from Jingdezhen are seen at The Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 20, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua) "Almost everyone in the city is engaging in business related to porcelain," he said, noting that even in the early hours of the morning, he could see people carrying porcelain pieces. Jingdezhen is an inclusive city where anyone, no matter whether an artist, designer, trader, or visitor, can produce porcelain with the help of craftsmen, he said. "I am so lucky to be here, meet such a lot of opportunities, and be brave enough to take a step into an unfamiliar country," said Yazici, who is confident that he would realize his life-long dream of making porcelain in the city. China's Jingdezhen porcelains greatly inspired Turkish tile masters since the Ottoman era and paved the way for the start of porcelain production in Turkey, a prominent Turkish porcelain expert said.
Chinese porcelains including those from Jingdezhen are seen at The Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 20, 2021. (Photo by Osman Orsal/Xinhua) "Their value has increased manyfold due to their high quality and high artistic value and highly qualified raw material," Omur Tufan, manager of the Topkapi Palace Museum Porcelain Collection, told Xinhua, showing some unique examples of 14th-century Celadon pieces made in Jingdezhen. The Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul possesses a 12,000-piece collection of Chinese porcelain, and Jingdezhen ceramics constitute 50 percent of this collection. Tufan said the pieces from Jingdezhen have been frequently transported from China via the ancient Silk Road upon the requests of the Ottoman Sultans throughout history.