真 or 假? Defining the Fake in Chinese Porcelain
Fake porcelain by definition is made to deceive but what kind of deception is intended? Some porcelain is made to deceive the buyer who believes it is ‘authentic’.
INTRODUCTION About the Speaker
Fake porcelain by definition is made to deceive but what kind of deception is intended? Some porcelain is made to deceive the buyer who believes it is ‘authentic’. This is falsifying for profit. However, deception can also be a form of aesthetics or even a necessity. Some Chinese porcelains were intentionally made in imitation of past pieces, for example. Others were made as replacements and still others as skeuomorphs in the trompe l’oeil tradition that developed in court arts of the Qing period. For the latter, what in fact is being faked? The concept of ‘fake’ in Chinese porcelain is therefore complex and its production is grounded in both commercial and connoisseurship practices. This lecture will examine the various types of porcelain that might be defined as fake, looking at the motivations, history, reception and audiences for this kind of production in Qing and contemporary China.
Dr Pierson was Curator of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art at SOAS (PDF) from 1997-2007. This museum housed the world-renowned David collection of Chinese ceramics which is now on display in the British Museum. As Curator of the PDF and subsequently as a member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at SOAS, she has concentrated her research and teaching on aspects of Chinese ceramics in both the domestic and global spheres and the history of collecting. She has published widely in these subject areas and her recent books include: Collectors, Collections and Museums: the Field of Chinese Ceramics in Britain: 1560-1960, Peter Lang, 2007; Chinese Ceramics: a Design History, V&A Publications, 2009; From Object to Concept: Global Consumption and the Transformation of Ming Porcelain, HKU Press, 2013 and Private Collecting, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Art History in London: the Burlington Fine Arts Club, Routledge, 2017.