Lockdown Travel Series: Cao Aiqin – Chinese Ceramics
Our Digital Projects Officer, Feixue Huangdu, is currently in China developing partnerships with a range of organisations. She is sharing her journey in a new lockdown travel blog series about Chinese cultural heritage. The first in this series explores the fascinating life and career of Cao Aiqin, famous female ceramicist.
Cao Aiqin was born into a family of ceramicists in April 1954, Jingdezhen City. At an early age, Aiqin followed her father, Mr Caoyouheng, to the ceramics factory where he worked in Jingde Town. This was an influential part of Aiqin’s life, as she learnt the practice from her father. She quickly grew to love ceramic arts and learnt from the old school artists. People affectionately called her ‘The Daughter of the God of Wind and Fire’ thanks to her work.
Aiqin followed the famous master of seal cutting, Mr Yang Zhengsheng, in the 1970s in order to learn more about art and the particular art of seal carving. She engaged in ceramic arts and seal carving for decades and tirelessly dedicated her life to her work. Her comprehensive decoration and innovative combination of seal cutting and ceramic vessels carried her career forwards. She also studied oil painting and gained a deep understanding of this form of artwork.
Having studied a Master’s degree in Theory and Practice of Arts and Crafts, Cao Aiqin’s work was a blend of Chinese and Western qualities. The result was a strong personal style which distinguished Aiqin from her peers. Aiqin’s work is highly collectible and sought after. Her artistic achievements were outstanding and she has been recognised with a range of prestigious accolades, including being listed on ‘Chinese Meritorious Figures’ and ‘Today’s China Star’ lists, as well as the ‘Talent of Hua Xia’. More recently, in December 2020, Cao Aiqin was honoured with the Jiangxi Ganpo Charity Prize for the Most Caring Donation Individual Award. Her talents make her an important figure in Chinese cultural heritage.
By Feixue Huangdu, Digital Projects Officer
Read more of our musings on our news page.