Rainstorms picked up again today as we headed from southern Anhui towards Jingdezhen, Jiangxi (Google maps link). But in between heavy showers the rain levelled a mist and low whisp of clouds across each village and miniature mountain range, turning an already beautiful scene into an awe-inspiring spectacle. Southern Anhui and parts of northern Jiangxi are home to China’s Hui style architecture: whitewashed houses topped with black, ridged roofs that are square but curl up to a point of the edges. Flanked next to full growth rice fields lush from all the rain, the area seemed to exemplify what many people imagine classical China to be.
We stayed pretty much fully dry despite deep, deep puddles and roads that were halfway to rivers. Although the thrill of driving in the rain is quickly wearing off, in a sense we are lucky to encounter such heavy rains in the beginning of our trip, because we now know that we’ve done a good job of waterproofing all of our equipment.
Heavy flooding in the area (link) made us think twice about our route, but despite minimal detours and multiple stops to double check everything we ended up in Jingdezhen early enough to meet with up Nate’s close friends.
Jingdezhen is China’s “porcelain capital” and home to the imperial kiln in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now, modern Jingdezhen still thrives with a rich ceramic culture, and in the past couple years it has increasingly drawn artists from all over China --and the world-- to come and create, share, and enjoy what has been referred to as “heaven for ceramicists.” Every step of the ceramic process here has been stratified, analyzed, and mastered and the resources available for ceramicists (including extremely white porcelain) are unparalleled. Nate lived here for a year doing research for a Fulbright scholarship, and is still captivated by not only the art here, but the people and community it inspires; if you’re interested about know more about Jingdezhen, send us a message!