Technology and Art in Society: The Significance of "Furnace Transmutation" in Chinese Song Jun Ware

By Meili Yang.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The occurrence of "furnace transmutation" is probably simply an accidental event in the ceramic manufacturing process, and also probably the result of some new or innovative technologies being tested and challenged by potters with a certain degree of unpredictability or uncontrollability. However, the latter should be able to anticipate that considerable diversity should appear in the final product, including some new artistic style of ceramic artworks and resultant bizarre products. Among the diversity of products, which one is accepted by contemporary society and which is not? Ancient technological innovation and the creation of a new artistic style bear a close relationship with contemporary society and culture.
In the present article, based on our previous scientific analysis of the manufacturing technology of Song Jun ware (Yang et al. 2013), a more objective perspective on the occurrence of ‘furnace transmutation’ in Song Jun ware is taken. Moreover, it is also the goal to explore the real significance of ‘furnace transmutation’ in Song Jun ware in terms of its connection with late Northern Song’s society, as well as the relationship among technology, art and society in ancient China.

Keywords: Jun Ware, Furnace Transmutation, China, Northern Song

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 9, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.11-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1007.497KB).

Prof. Meili Yang

Professor, Center for General Education, National Tsing Hua University, Taipei, Taiwan, Taiwan