As mentioned yesterday, today I went to the Yingge Ceramics Museum. (The link will take you to the English version of their website. I met Rena and Matthew (see left) at the Taoyuan train station this morning to catch a 9:25 train to Yingge, the next station north as you’re headed to Taipei. We were on the train less than ten minutes. Right outside the station, we hailed a taxi for a short ride to the museum.
The first two floors of the museum have permanent exhibits that show the history of ceramics in Taiwan. The different fuels, different kinds of kilns, and samples of various kinds of pottery. You can walk right into a model of a kiln to see where everything fits and how the cars move on the rails through it. You can see a large wagon filled with ceramic wares that would be transported to various markets. There are video displays that explain things in detail. You can also check out an audio set (in Chinese or English). Then as you walk through the museum, many of the cases and displays indicate the number for the audio explanation of that item or section. You punch it in on a phone pad and hold it up to your ear and can learn about all kinds of interesting facts.
I think that my favorite part of the first two floors is the section of two facing walls that has a series of tiles showing samples of the various ways they add decorative elements to clay. Next time I go, I’ll have to get a picture of those walls. But what I do have pictures of items from the third floor. The third floor has special exhibitions that rotate. So this floor was totally different from my last visit. It featured items related to 3-D imaging and copying, and the way technology is advancing ceramics into new areas. I learned in another area that ceramics can be used as semiconductors, chips, and other electronic components.
But the place where I really had a lot of fun was the part of the exhibit that shows what artists and ceramicists are doing in terms of the environment, especially with upcycling ceramics. Today, I’ll show you the arrangement that is behind Rena and Matthew above. I’ll also show you a few photos of work that is a ceramic version of origami. Next time, I’ll show you my favorites of the upcycling collection.
I love how the leg of this table is a stack of coffee mugs. There are many little lamps with cups as the “shades.” Not seen in this photo are plates made into clocks. Below is another view with yours truly.
A table of ceramic origami. It’s hard to believe these aren’t paper. They look so incredibly delicate, as you can see better in the close-up below.
And for tonight’s “weird” entry, I give you a ceramic arrangement called simply, “Traditional babies”
OK, and since we were feeling silly, and we didn’t understand this piece at all, we staged an additional dose of silly.
See you next time with some really interesting upcycled stuff. In the meantime, ask yourself, what would you do if you had lots of broken pottery to find a home for?
As an aside, to give you an idea of costs: the train ride was the equivalent of 50 cents US, each way. The taxi ride to and from the museum was about $3 US each way. Admission to the museum was free. So for $9 US, we had a lovely cultural outing.