Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jiang Rong's Mou Lu Ni, Spring Lotus with Frog and Snails

Being a Yixing enthusiast for over 15 years now, I still remember the moment that the spell was casted.

The display shelves were full of yixings, big and small. Back in those days when Jiang Rong and Gu Jing Zhou's pots were still available for a price not as hefty as today. I am not a big fan of 'Flower pot' style, but once in a while those refined details on such a piece do captivate my attention. My father pulled out a large (500ml?) dark blue pot from the top shelf and handed it to me. "Son, try not to drop it..." I still remember his gentle reminder. "Jiang Rong spent more than 10 years to create and study that little frog, before she completed this pot." He left me alone and looked for another Gu's pot.

I held it with my both hands, just like using my hands to fetch water from a spring. I had it in my palm for more than a min... not saying anything, not looking or thinking about other thing, just drawn by the piece. The dark matte blue color started to turn bright and oily sheen like jade, the piece seemed to melt in front of my eyes. And the tiny frog on top....

Back in high school, my favorite class besides Art was Science class, specially lab time. And I have to confess I had nightmare from cutting up frogs or putting them into liquid nitrogen....

I took a closer look at the tiny frog sitting on the lotus lid, perhaps it was my body warmth or my breathing? The frog seemed to melt out from the blue clay and became alive. Just like when I pulled out a frog in the lab from the nitrogen tank, after a couple of minutes, it melted back to live. The details, workmanship, proportion, the curves and the spirit of the piece transpired life and living energy. It was magical.... That was the spell, one of my benchmark experience ever since.

Artists, young or old, has to give their soul and dedication to their work. Breath, a drop of sweat or his or her own love. This precious energy will continue to change and remain within the piece and transfer to people who are lucky enough to hold or encounter them. At least, this is what I believe.

What could be better to have a pot of White Needle Golden Lotus to savor this memory.

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