二． 每件展品均拍下前、後、特寫 (細部)及款識，一併製成CDR光盤附於書內，方便讀者對每件展品得窺全豹。
有關石灣陶藝的專家論著頗多，惟對保存文物功不可況的收藏者，都鮮有提及，《石灣陶瓷鑒藏家 – 商承祚教授》一文，是國際石灣陶藝會名譽顧問韓于西先生憶述前輩鑒藏家的軼事，希望通過前人的努力和貢献，啓發現代鑒藏家思考和借鏡。
*註： 馮素閣 廣東省博物館副研究員
“Gathering of Earthly Gods” Shiwan Wares from the Collections of the International Shiwan Ceramics Association
A Book /Pictorial Review by Feng Su Ge
Vice Professor, Guangdong Provincial Museum
A copy of “Gathering of Earthly Gods” jointly presented by the University Museum and Art Gallery (The University of Hong Kong) and the International Shiwan Ceramics Association was delivered to me earlier this year (2005). I wasted no time to read through the book /pictorial and studied each and every article included thereof. This is a systematic research on Shiwan Wares and a valuable resource to most collectors. What impressed me most are its comprehensiveness, the number and quality of catalogue entries / plates, the articles and the appendices. To ensure the characteristics of each catalogue entries are carefully presented and articulated, in additional to the plate and description in the book / pictorial, an attached CDR captured the marking /seal, if any, on each individual item and perspectives at different angel. Credit must be given to the tireless and meticulous effort of the members of the Selection Committee, the Organizing and Editorial committee in making this a reality.
The International Shiwan Ceramics Association (ISCA) was established on 2002 in Hong Kong by a group of seasoned Shiwan ware enthusiasts. Naturally, its members had amassed a prized collection of Shiwan ware. In the hope of showing the splendor of Shiwan ware and enhancing the connoisseurship and interest of its member, as well as setting an example for other art lovers to follow, ISCA explored the idea of conducting an exhibition in the Fung Ping Shan Building with the University Museum and Art Gallery (The University of Hong Kong). This was well received and supported by the Museum and its staff, thus making the exhibition a possibility and guaranteed its success.
“Gathering of Earthly Gods” was the name of this exhibition in which 163 items were displayed in Fung Ping Shan Building from November 2004 to March 2005. A book /pictorial bearing the same name also served as catalogue for the same exhibition.
There are a few features of this book /pictorial worth mentioning:
1) The colour and seize of the catalogue entries / plates are much closer to the original exhibits other than a few over seized items. In short, the colour plates resembled what one would expect with the original items in front. This explains why the book / pictorial are over seized.
2) Perspectives from different directions and marking /seal, if any, captured in a CDR attached.
3) There are different articles addressing different facets of Shiwan Art and its appreciation, a useful resource to enthusiasts.
4) The Appendices include systematic listing of Shiwan Artist and Workshops, Major Shiwan Glaze Colour and Chronology of Shiwan, all valuable reference.
The book / pictorial can be divided into four distinct parts. The Readers are first introduced to “Ancient Shiwan Kiln Sites in the Early Twentieth Century” and should appreciate how prosperous Shiwan was less than a century ago. The most import part followed with catalogue entries / plates from the Exhibition. Catalogue entries are classified into figures, birds and animals, artistic utensils and miniatures. Most of the entries are dated prior to 1950 and have never been published or exhibited, providing a very refreshing feeling.
The seven articles then after each deserve a separate caption.
The first article “Thoughts of Benevolence : Appreciation of Shekwan II” was written by Fredrikke Skinsnes-Scollard”. This is a comprehensive, deep and inspiring article on Shiwan Art and philosophy on appreciation this art form. Dr. Scollard, a second generation of distinguish “foreign” scholar /expert is indeed a pride of those engaged in the studying and researching of Shiwan Art.
Master Liu Zemian “Appreciation of the Ceramic Art of Liu Zuochao” is one of the few articles I know that provided an unreserved, detail and systematic critique on works of an old and respected Master. This is a road map for those learn to appreciate and an inspiration for those appreciates the unique elegance and everlasting charm of this old Master and the strong folk flavour of Shiwan Art.
Master Liao Hongbiao “A Brief Introduction to Huang Bing Ducks” is another article that elevates our understanding of another old Master and appreciates his work of art.
“Luminescence Dating of Three Pieces of Shiwan Ware with Seal Marks” by Dr. Li Shenghua, Associate Professor of the Department of Earth Science, the University of Hong Kong demonstrated that scientific methods could be used to date pottery ware with mark of “Nanshi Tang”. This is a first and a break through for luminescence dating.
Mr. Liu Maengham “Preliminary Investigation of Shiwan Ware in Imitation of Shu Kiln” represents an enlightening viewpoint on a group of Shiwan Ware and its characteristics. No doubt, this is an important reference for Shiwan “imitation of Shu Kiln”.
Many monographs and treaties have been written on different aspects of Shiwan Ware. However, the collectors who have contributed greatly to the preservation of cultural relics have seldom been mentioned. Mr. Han Yuxi, (Hon nary Advisor of ISCA), “Professor Sheng Chengzuo, Connoisseur and Collector of Shiwan Ceramics” records his anecdotes about the late Professor, in the hope of setting a good example for modern connoisseur and collector to follow.
Shiwan glaze colours are characterized by their brilliant, down-to-earth, muddy yet thick tints in great varieties. Mr. He Chiyuan with tens of years in studying Shiwan Ware especially in glaze colour introduces the Reader in “Shiwan Colour Glaze” to different type of glaze, its composition, different type of flame and furnace transmutation.
“Gathering of Earthly Gods” is a well structured and systematic book /pictorial. It encompasses the theoretical aspect of an academic text as well as the practicality of a reference source. The catalogue entries and colour plates are remarkable and since most were never exhibited or publish before are valuable for appreciation of Shiwan Ware and further research. Therefore, it can be used by ceramics enthusiasts especially connoisseur and collector of Shiwan Ware as reference book /pictorial. The theoretical and academic text may also be appealing to the serious readers which includes students and lovers of Chinese cultural relics and professional or researchers in Shiwan Ware like those in a museum.