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"3rd Blanc de Chine ICAA (International Ceramic Art Award)


14 October 2023-29 February 2024
Winland Center
Hangzhou, China

China's white porcelain is popular in Europe for its traits of “white as snow, bright as mirror, thin as paper, and sound like chime stone”. It was named by the French as Blanc de Chine, namely “China White”, known as the best of Chinese porcelain.

The Blanc de Chine International Ceramic Art Award (ICAA) has been held since 2017 to safeguard and carry forward this splendid history, promote the international exchange of contemporary ceramic art, and give impetus to the integrative and innovative development of ceramic art and contemporary art.

The ICAA is an international competition for ceramic art held every two years, aiming to bring together the world's outstanding ceramic artists, and to rethink, define and extend the dimensions and depth of ceramic art with their vision, creativity and artistic techniques. Innovative white porcelain works at the forefront of contemporary ceramic art will be awarded according to the selection and evaluation of the jury committee.

The jury was composed of Bai Ming,Chair, Committee of Ceramic Arts, China Artists Association, China; Claudia Casali, Director of International Museum of Ceramic in Faenza, Italy; Catherine Chevillot, Présidente of Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, France; Wayne Higby, Director and Chief Curator of Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, USA; Ludovic Recchia, Managing Director of Keramis, Belgium; Romaine Sarfati, Director of National Museum of Ceramics, Sèvres, France; Christine Shimizu, General Curator of Heritage, France; Jay Xu, Director & CEO,Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, USA; Yorigami Munemi, Ceramist, Japan

The installation “Panthèon Blanc” is composed of a group of images heterogeneous in nature and dimensions, arranged on five rows of ascending steps. Each sculpture reflects an openness to the influences of the history of art of all times and places, passing through the votive sculptures and figurines of the Western and Eastern traditions to linger over the white porcelain figures of Blanc de Chine. “All the gods” is the significance of the ancient Greek word “pantheon”, a concept developed further by the Romans to allow all the divinities of different cultures to co-inhabit under the same sky and to coexist peacefully. 

The installation presents itself as a review of mythological figures of diverse morphologies and styles almost as if identifying a globalisation of the deities parallel to the temporal phenomenon of globalisation that invests our society. Divinity, a concept almost unknown to contemporary man, is understood as human psyche that is the product not only of our personal dynamics but also of a collective unconscious, an innate genetic instinct, a shared heritage, of our belonging to nature. The unconscious is a zone from which the sacred arises and the images that spring up from this are the gods. 

The sculptures are composed of porcelains from many countries, including France, Spain, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia and China, used separately or combined in a special blend of paper clay. The recycled porcelain of diverse provenances, reunited in a new mixture of porcelain, becomes a metaphor of biological and cultural contaminations, the maximum expression of our times. This plurality is also expressed in the use of many ceramic techniques used contemporaneously (slip-casting, coiling, slabs, modelling, and immersion of organic and synthetic materials) to define the diverse natures of the figures of the Panthèon Blanc. The origin of the forms in this installation marks a significant return to hand-building in parallel to the use of slip-casting, a technique that gained prominence in my work since my participation in a formative Blanc de Chine ICAA residency in 2017. 

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