Perfect porcelain: Liu Jianhua makes his UK debut at London’s Pace Gallery

Showing his work for the first time in the UK, Shanghai-based Liu Jianhua showcases his sculptural porcelain works at London's Pace Gallery

Plates on white wall
(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

'The title of the exhibition is meant to express the abstract idea of the relationship between the works and the space, the viewers, and between the two different cultures of tradition and modernity,' says Chinese artist Liu Jianhua of 'Between', his new exhibition at London's Pace Gallery.

Shanghai-based Jianhua studied his craft for 14 years at the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen, where he learnt how to craft new contemporary forms using ancient techniques, transforming paper, leaves, bones and ink drops into fragile, minimalist sculptures that creep across the walls and floors.

The works on display at Pace include Trace, first exhibited at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, where a splattering of glossy black porcelain drips based on principles of Chinese calligraphy appear to trickle down the white walls; and the Untitled plates – a series of wall-mounted celadon discs that are tied together with a continuing thin horizontal line.

Timed to coincide with the 18th annual instalment of Asian Art in London, the show is Jianhua's first at the gallery, as well as in the UK.

Drips of tar on white wall

Appearing more as drips of tar than porcelain, the illusion created in Traces plays with the delicate nature Jianhua’s chosen materials. Pictured: Traces, 2011

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

Corner of the wall with drips of tar

Here, Liu was inspired by a Chinese calligraphic stroke called the ’wulouhe’, which literally translates as ’stains caused by leaking roofs’. Pictured: Traces, 2011

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

Wooden flooring and white walls

The scale of these pieces is impressively, unexpectedly large, encompassing full rooms in the gallery

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

Porcelain plates on wall

Porcelain is Jianhua’s material of choice largely thanks to his 14 years of training in the art at the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen. Pictured left: Untitled, 2011. Right: Blank Pages, 2009

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

Blank paper on wall

Jianhua’s Blank Paper series may seem like just that – but in fact, the blank rectangles are actually made of translucently-thin, highly worked porcelain

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

Light sage green plates

Pictured left: Blank Pages, 2009. Right: Untitled, 2011. ’Between’ is on view until 23 December

(Image credit: Pace Gallery)

’Between’ is on view until 23 December. For more information, visit Pace Gallery’s website

Photography courtesy of Pace Gallery


Pace Gallery
6 Burlington Gardens
London, W1S 3ET



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