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Bai creates masterpieces inspired by trivial, everyday events

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-13 07:00

Bai creates masterpieces inspired by trivial, everyday events

Porcelain works by Bai Ming. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Bai was born in Yugan in Jiangxi province, a town near Jingdezhen, which is celebrated as the hometown of Chinese porcelain.

As a boy, he found playing with clay and making vases, cups and pots was "interesting and magical".

"I didn't take it seriously then, he says.

In fact, Bai was first eager to be recognized as an oil painter after he graduated from the ceramics department of the then Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, which is now the art college of Tsinghua University. He is now director of the ceramic department there.

"I was crazy about Western art in the 1980s. I read everything available on it," Bai says.

But the artist says he was destined to become a ceramics artist due to his personality. When he is working, Bai focuses on tiny changes in his environment. The falling of leaves or the boiling of water make him think. Besides, he is very sensitive to the changes in clay, specially when tooling, glazing and firing.

"I feel the passage of time when creating my works, sometimes it is days, sometimes half a year," he says.

Each porcelain work Bai creates is an expression of his emotions or a reflection on life and time.

"I need only trivial things to inspire me," he says.

Bai says he once bought a book by a French poet at a flea market in Paris. And he enjoyed staring at the book for hours although he did not know the language.

But things like the handwriting on the front page and the obvious coffee stains on it intrigued him, which resulted in him creating a work to explore time and life.

Tea and music run through Bai's daily life.

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