chapter  13
15 Pages

Dancing pot and pregnant jar? On ceramics, metaphors and creative labels

ByWING YAN VIVIAN TING

In the quiet and dim space of the Schiller Gallery at the Bristol City Museum (BCM), a white Ding bowl, a porcelain ware named after its production kiln in Dingzhou (Hebai province), is supposed to demonstrate, through its thin biscuit, subtle whiteness and simplistic design, the exquisite craftsmanship of the tenth to twelfth centuries. However, like most of the BCM’s Chinese collection, it is presented in an old-fashion display case without a text label. How does this object speak to visitors?