The Official Website of the People’s Government of Hunan Province Mobile 中文 Francais 한국어 日本語

15 July 2015

Home>Tourism>Hunan Geography>The Latest

Luo Yuqi and "Porcelain of Chairman Mao"

 

Hunan collector Luo Yuqi will showcase the rare Mao porcelain at Expo Milano 2015.

 

Mao porcelain, which has been treasured for over three decades by Luo Yuqi, a well-known collector from Hunan Province, is to be exhibited at the China Pavilion of Expo Milano 2015 from June 19 to 23. The porcelain with patterns of plum blossoms, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum is the life ceramics specially designed and produced for Chairman Mao in Liling. In recent years, Luo has been devoting himself to promoting porcelain culture at home and abroad and telling Chinese stories in a unique way, with a hope of spreading positive energy and realizing his Chinese Dream.

 

Mao porcelain made in Liling in 1974 is the unprecedented national ceramic rarity.

 

As the name suggests, Mao porcelain is the porcelain made exclusively for Chairman Mao. It generally refers to all the porcelain products once used by Chairman Mao since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In a narrow sense, it is the eggshell porcelain for Chairman Mao’s daily use that was produced in Liling of Hunan Province and Jingdezhen of Jiangxi Province since the 1970s. Exquisitely designed and assiduously refined, they were meticulously produced on high quality regardless of cost. Liling porcelain made in 1974, with a high level of rarity, was highly favored by Chairman Mao.

 

Perfect and unparalleled craftsmanship

 

Mao porcelain has developed the technical characteristics of “snow-like purity, jade-like gentleness, mirror-like brightness, paper-like thinness and chime stone-like sound”, representing the highest level of China’s porcelain craftsmanship in specific periods of history. It has set many records, such as the clay for porcelain making, raw materials for porcelain painting, and delicate painting. The rare clay used to make Mao porcelain, called Daqiuni which takes the shape of balls in different sizes, was only distributed in Hunan’s Hongjiang and can no longer be found now. The porcelain adopted the under-glaze colored pigments as raw painting materials, such as uranium oxide in agate red, sea blue, grass green, black, brown which can bear high temperature. Bold innovation has been made on porcelain making in which the under-glaze method is even applied to the bottom of the porcelain to get the effect of fine-grained body. In addition, patterns of each flower on the porcelain bowls are identical, all of which are noble, elegant, and breathtaking.

 

From 1958 to 1974, Liling Kiln was assigned the mission of designing and making porcelain for Chairman Mao for four times. Liling-made Mao porcelain has four distinctive features. Firstly, bringing together the most excellent porcelain makers at that time including porcelain masters and artisans, the unprecedented Mao porcelain is the masterpiece of their painstaking efforts, close collaboration, and collective wisdom. Secondly, the porcelain, like products from government official kilns in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is acclaimed as the greatest masterpiece of Chinese porcelain. Even superior to the two kilns in craftsmanship, it is highly valued by collectors. Thirdly, tailor-made for Chairman Mao, the porcelain pieces not only contain the great man’s personal symbol but also imply rich political, historical, and cultural connotations. In this way, any other porcelain cannot be comparable. Finally, the double-faced patterns of plum blossoms, Chinese rose, lotus, chrysanthemum, and blue chrysanthemum are fresh, refined and unique, carrying deep meanings and epoch characteristics. There is no doubt that “Chairman Mao” porcelain is of great appreciation and collection value. The porcelain is as crystal as jade. The thickness of the bowls is less than one millimeter. Under the shining rays, they are nearly transparent. The structure is firm and dense. The sound is like pleasant chime music. The craftsmanship is unrivaled and the appearance is extremely exquisite.

 

The rare porcelain used by Chairman Mao is unduplicated.

 

Mao porcelain made in Liling is rare, most of which is treasured by the government in such places as Mao Zedong Relic Museum in Shaoshan, China Revolutionary Museum, and the Garden of Plenty (Fengzeyuan). The porcelain is extremely worth a fortune for collectors as only less than 380 pieces are scattered outside. The famous Chinese collector Luo Yuqi is far ahead in Mao porcelain collection in terms of quantity, shape, and appearance. Hailed as “Mr. Luo of Mao porcelain”, he is honored as the first to collect it in China. He has collected 268 pieces of Liling-made porcelain used in Chairman Mao's daily life since 1979. Luo’s collections—a set of under-glaze colored porcelain bowl made for Chairman Mao fetched eight million yuan, the largest bid at the Hunan Embroidery and Porcelain Artwork Auction held at Poly Auction Hong Kong in June 2013. Coupled with the auction commission, its final price exceeded 11 million yuan, setting a record for a single item at that auction.

 

Flowers in four seasons, and everlasting five blessings

 

 

Product name: under-glaze colored porcelain bowls for Chairman Mao (a set)
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: Chinese rose, lotus, red autumn chrysanthemum, red plum blossoms, and blue chrysanthemum
Method: handcrafted


Among all the Mao porcelain products made in Liling, this set of bowls featuring patterns of red plum blossoms are said to be the favorites of Mao Zedong.

 

Elegant, mysterious, and exquisite blue chrysanthemum

 

 

Product name: under-glaze colored porcelain bowl for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: blue chrysanthemum
Method: handcrafted

 

The blue chrysanthemum porcelain bowl in Mao porcelain in 1974 is the masterpiece of the late Li Xiaonian, arts and crafts master of Hunan and one of the representatives of Liling under-glaze colored porcelain. As a main producer of Mao porcelain project of Liling Qunli Art Porcelain Plant, Li made serial blue chrysanthemum ceramics which impressed Chairman Mao and other leaders favorably. Specially assigned by Mao Zedong, Mr. Li made ten sets exclusively for the great man and sent them to Zhongnanhai (the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council (Central government) of the People's Republic of China). Many people later only know Mao porcelain that feature patterns of rose, lotus, chrysanthemum, and red plum blossoms, representing the four seasons, but never know the fifth mysterious and exquisite set of blue chrysanthemum ceramics.

 

Renowned Chinese collector Luo Yuqi shows his collection of a fish-shaped porcelain plate with patterns of camellia used by Chairman Mao in the 1970s.

 

It is not easy to collect the precious Mao porcelain. For more than three decades, Luo has been working hard on it. Sometimes, to get a bowl cover, a spoon, or a porcelain chip, he had to pay countless visits to the owners, but he never got discouraged by the failure. He had no intention of selling his collections though many buyers from Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces offered high price. He hopes to set up a “Chairman Mao” relic museum, and conduct exchanges and appreciations with all Chinese porcelain lovers from all over the world. He expects that the museum will act as a revolutionary education base to arouse patriotism of the next generation.

 

Best collections of Mao porcelain by Luo Yuqi

 

 

Product name: the porcelain victory cup with patterns of Chinese rose and chrysanthemum for the great leader Chairman Mao, one of the founders of the PRC
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Chairman Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: Chinese rose and chrysanthemum
Method: handcrafted

 

Product name: shallow porcelain bowl with patterns of plum blossoms for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under glaze colored porcelain
Category: “Chairman Mao” porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: plum blossoms
Method: handcrafted

 

 

Product name: porcelain brush pot with patterns of plum blossoms for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Chairman Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: plum blossoms
Method: handcrafted

 

Product name: porcelain bowl for cooked wheaten food with patterns of plum blossoms and bamboo for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Chairman Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: plum blossoms and bamboo
Method: handcrafted

 

 

Product name: stitched edge porcelain bowl with patterns of chrysanthemum for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: chrysanthemum
Method: handcrafted

 

 

Product name: fish-shaped porcelain plate with patterns of plum blossoms for Chairman Mao
Product material: Liling under-glaze colored porcelain
Category: Mao porcelain in the 1970s
Patterns: plum blossoms
Method: handcrafted

 

Contact us: +86 13319568378, +86 731 88901688