Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

CHINA Town: Contemporary Ceramic Painting from Jingdezhen on View in the Cafritz Galleries of the White-Meyer House, 9/23/11- 1/15/12

You Cuiqing, Spirit of the Han and Tang Dynasties, 2011, Porcelain painted with underglaze decoration

You Cuiqing, Spirit of the Han and Tang Dynasties, 2011, Porcelain painted with unde

CHINA Town: Contemporary Ceramic Painting from Jingdezhen, an unprecedented exhibition of porcelain art curated by Meridian International Center (Washington, D.C.) and the Ren Jian Ci Hua Company (Jingdezhen, China), with support from the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, will be on view from September 23, 2011 – January 15, 2012, in the Cafritz Galleries of the White-Meyer House, located at 1624 Crescent Place, NW. in Washington D.C.

This presentation is the sixth in a series of exhibits organized over the last decade by Meridian’s Art for Cultural Diplomacy program with Chinese partners. It is also the first exhibition developed through the much-celebrated Memorandum of Understanding between Meridian International Center and the China International Culture Association. This Memorandum has created a new framework for the expansion of bilateral U.S.-China cultural exchanges, further strengthening and improving relations between the two nations.

The objects on display are from Jingdezhen, a city of 1.6 million people, located 350 miles southwest of Shanghai. It has produced the finest Chinese porcelain for over 1,000 years, especially the world-renowned blue and white decorative motifs. For centuries, artworks from Jingdezhen have been synonymous with the height of excellence in Chinese ceramic manufacturing and, by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), were exported to many corners of the globe.

Contemporary Chinese artists in Jingdezhen are now reconsidering traditional techniques and whether these should be maintained, reinterpreted, or cast aside in favor of modern mediums. Experimentation with new shapes, glazes, firing temperatures, and subject matter has led to exciting innovations such as the large clay panels used innovatively as “canvases” and highlighted in the exhibit at Meridian International Center.

The 56 works selected by Meridian with the Ren Jian Ci Hua Company show how today’s artists working in Jingdezhen are building upon historic traditions to create vibrant contemporary expressions. The fascinating amalgamation of old and new, and Eastern and Western influences, mirrors the profound social changes occurring throughout China in the face of rapid urbanization and globalization.

This is the first time an exhibition featuring Chinese painted porcelain from Jingdezhen has been presented in the United States. The display brings together artists of different backgrounds and philosophies, linked by their common appreciation of the ancient ceramic capital of China.

Jingdezhen remains an exciting center of innovation for artists exploring ways to transform ancient traditions into art that is relevant in the 21st century. The display will be free and open to the public from September 23, 2011 – January 15, 2012, Wed-Fri, 2pm-7pm; Sat & Sun, 12pm-6pm, in the Cafritz Galleries of the White-Meyer House, located at 1624 Crescent Place, NW. in Washington D.C.

About Meridian: Meridian International Center’s mission is to strengthen international understanding and serve as a center of innovation for engaging the public sector, private sector and diplomatic community in an exchange of people, ideas and culture. For more information, visit

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Tyrone Davis Jr., Zurin Villanueava, Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan and Jacob Ming-Trent Star in Crossroads Theatre Company’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, Helmed by Two-time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields
Ensemble Studio Theatre/Going to the River presents The River Crosses Rivers II: 9 Short Plays by Women of Color, 9/14-10/2
Portraits of New York Chinatown After 9/11 Featured in “Post 9/11”: Commemorative Display at Library of Congress Asian Reading Room, 8/30-9/15
Up Close and Personal with Rick Shiomi, Award-winning Playwright & Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts
Goodman Theatre World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Broadway Bound “Chinglish” Scores 5 Jeff Award Nods
Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 20th Anniversary Season: Four Destinies, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Into the Woods, & Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga Leads Stellar Cast in First All-Filipino Concert for Philippine Development Foundation, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim” at Alice Tully Hall on 11/7
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
OCA Awards Gala Photos: David Henry Hwang, Tamlyn Tomita, BD Wong, Dr. Bobby Fong & Tammy Duckworth Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress Chinglish in Rehearsal
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
H I R O S H I M A in Benefit Concert for Japan on 9/21 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NY
Photo Preview of BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society, May 24-26, 2010
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at


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