Ceramicist marries pottery, paper-cutting

By Huang Po-lang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 - Page 5

Renowned Taiwanese ceramic artist Fan Chung-de (范仲德) recently sought a patent on his latest artistic invention, which incorporates pottery techniques and the time-honored folk art of paper-cutting to creat more vivid human profiles.

After a lifelong dedication to the pottery tradition, Fan has been highly acclaimed for his wide range of ceramic creations made in a wide variety of shapes, including rose and amoeba-shaped teapots. The creations are integrated with screws made of clay, which bear Chinese characters reading ping an (平安), meaning peace and good health.

Fan’s works of art not only are deemed “collectors items” among pottery enthusiasts, but have also earned him scores of national Golden Ceramics Award trophies.

Fan’s latest invention came into being after he found several inspiring paper-cuttings made by hawkers who had masterfully captured people’s characters and facial contours, using nothing but a pair of scissors and a piece of paper.

Driven by the ambition of giving ceramic art more extensive usage, Fan started trying to portray the human figure by using ceramic boards rather than paper.

The creations, to Fan’s surprise, turned out far more lifelike than the paper art form or the ceramic paintings, while the process was also less time-consuming than that of making three-dimensional sculptures.

Fan then used his skills to produce profile statues of several famous people, including Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), the late Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

However, he does not limit his artistic technique to public figures and makes portraits of anyone who submits a photograph.

For just NT$1,000 anyone can within a week have their ceramic profile made into a one-of-a-kind work of art.