Jingdezhen young designers

Daojin in his studio hand throwing one of his unique designed cups. // Photo credit to Nate Brown

 

 

Daojin is a 25-year-old ceramic artist living and making in Jingdezhen, China’s “porcelain capital.” Originally from a village outside Hezi county in rural Shangdong, a province in China’s coastal north, Daojin dropped out of high school, like many young Chinese living in rural China, to work in construction. Terrified by the safety standards and heights of the sites he had to work on, Daojin re-enrolled in school and found his passion for ceramics. He has now lived in Jingdezhen for five years, where he runs his own studio, builds his own motorcycles, and swims almost daily in the nearby river. 

 

HIS WORKS are thrown so thin that they are translucent when held against light, even without even trimming the original form. The subtle celadon and deep indigo blues that pour over each subtlety, are the result of ash glazes made by Daojin himself. All of the ash in the glazes are collected from Daojin’s hometown, where wood and woodchips are still burned under beds and in stoves in the winter to keep the house warm. The only additional additive is found in the blue glaze, in which Daojin has introduced cobalt – the same mineral that is used in traditional blue-and-white painting.

Daojin’s pieces for Wing On Wo highlights all the aspects of what has defined his work to date –the attention to detail, the perfection in form, and the exquisite craftsmanship. We are proud to present three forms, pieces, cups, bowls, and pitchers, all of which are not only stunning aesthetically but are designed for function, from the way the sit in your hand, to how the edge touches your mouth. They are pieces that are not only collectable, but comfortable; pieces that shine equally at an evening gala in the Hamptons and in a Chinatown apartment filled with your morning coffee.

 

Daojin's works on display after City of Hands Screening in September 2016 // Photo credit: Eric Jenkins-Sahlin

 

Asian American Artists

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Lexton Moy is a Chinese Filipino American, born and raised in Chinatown. He played professional soccer in Hong Kong, Macau and Manila and is a former Philippines Men’s National Team player with 11 international caps representing his mother’s native country. Lexton is currently the Director of Coaching at the Chelsea Piers Soccer Club in NYC and recently launched the lifestyle brand CYNONYC. The Chinatown Clothing Company embraces New York City’s geographic antiquity, while preserving the history, traditions and cultural customs of Manhattan’s Original Chinatown.

Shop CYNONYC now!

Christal Sih, a graphic designer originally from the sunny island of Singapore. She completed her BFA in Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and is now based in New York City. In the day she works on branding and advertising for other people, and at night she works on her own projects (a lot of which involve putting eyes on things).

As a designer, Christal integrates illustration and photography into her practice. She is interested in post-colonialism from her experience of growing up in Singapore, hybridity as a basis for constructing identity, and also food. A recipe book that she made with her grandma, "Grandma’s Recipes" published by Math Paper Press in Singapore and launched at Wing On Wo & Co in NYC, is a compilation of family recipes as well as photographic collages and writing. It explores the themes of identity, authenticity and bridging generational differences.

More of her work can also be seen at christalsih.com

Stop by 26 Mott st. to pick up a copy of Grandma's Recipes and check out custom prints made from graphics in the recipe book. 

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Sister Hulu 葫芦妹, After moving to Beijing in 2011, Nancy Tong spent much time exploring the famous hutongs (labyrinthine alleyways) and observing the local culture of gossip and handicrafts in the slow paced neighborhoods. In these adventures, she found the humble hulu (葫芦)or bottle gourd, growing on twisting vines around the resident's entryways. The hulu has special meaning in China, and can bring prosperity and protection to those who hang them around the entrance of the home. In a need for a creative release, Nancy started to paint dried hulu in brightly colored patterns and sold them in markets around Beijing. Her main influences for the look of the hulu are actually not Chinese, but Scandinavian mid-century prints and polka dot-crazed artist, Yayoi Kusama. It is in this modern take that Nancy encourages Chinese youth to rethink heritage and be mindful of tradition in the fast paced environment of urban China.


Yixing Wares 

YIXING WARE gets its name from the city in where it is produced, Yixing, in Jiangsu province about 120 miles northwest of Shanghai. Yixing ware is distinguishable by the type of clay used in its pieces, zhisha, zhuni, or duanni, which has a myriad, naturally occurring, deep earthen colors. Unlike porcelain works, Yixing wares are always unglazed, and especially teapots are almost always made by hand –not on a wheel— through a laborious process of sculpting and slab building. This means that each piece is fully unique. While similar in shape and form, no two are fully alike.

Clay from Yixing has been renowned since the Song Dynasty (the 10th century) for its particular craft in teawares. What is unique about Yixing wares, is that even after being fired in a kiln, they remain semi-porous. The positive of this for tea drinkers is two-fold.

First, the porous nature within the pot allows it to absorb trace amounts of liquid as the tea is steeped. This causes the pot to retain the essence of the tea even after the brewing is complete and the leaves have been taken out. As you use the teapot more, each future brew grows in complexity: flavors become richer, and more layered. It is because of this reason that most tea-drinkers insist on using only one type of tea in an Yixing teapot, or at least teas with similar flavor profiles. If you have always brewed a heavy black tea, like Pu’er, in the teapot, and suddenly go to brew a light green tea, like Longjing, the lighter green might take one some flavors of the richer black.

Secondly, the porousness of Yixing wears allow for subtle change in appearance overtime. If the oils from one’s skin interact with the exterior of the teapot, they will be absorbed and the teapot will slowly develop a glowing patina. The shine of an Yixing teapot is a testament to its use and the care of its owner.

Yixing wares are one of the best ways to fully enjoy tea drinking. Investing in an Yixing ware is not just buying an object, its buying a piece that will grow with you. Wing On Wo & Co currently carries Yixing wares in two forms: teapots and gaiwans. Gaiwans come in 3 different clay body colors; teapots come in 4 styles and 2 clay body types.