Yue ware celadon on display./展出中的越窯青瓷。 [Photo by Tang Yan]/唐嚴攝
By Gou Wen
Ningbo, historically known as Mingzhou during the Tang and Song Dynasties, developed and thrived leveraging its coastal geographic location. Not only did Ningbo see rapid growth in external trade, but it also produced many celadon porcelains, which are world-famous because of their color and texture, known as Yue ware and adored for their "deep-forest crystal green" and "ice or jade-like appearance".
The Yue ware celadon produced in the Shanglin Lake kiln once represented the highest quality of such products in China. Celadon porcelain produced in Shanglin Lake during the Tang and Song Dynasties was sold overseas, and porcelain making technology spread to other countries.
At that time, Ningbo was a big trading port and cultural hub because of its location. Being close to rivers and the sea, trade in Ningbo was booming. The Yue ware celadon was the concentrated embodiment of the elegant, exquisite, open, and inclusive style of the Song Dynasty.