Master of Art and Crafts of China Xu Xiutang
Master of Chinese arts and crafts, outstanding inheritor of Chinese folk culture, won the China Arts and Crafts Lifetime Achievement Award, National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritor, Chinese Ceramic Art, Design, Education Lifetime Achievement Award and many other honorary titles, and was awarded the Global China Culture and Art Salary Award. He is a guest professor of Jiangnan University and a guest professor of Wuxi Vocational and Technical College of Technology.
Born in Yixing Shushan Zisha family. In 1954, he studied under the famous Zisha pottery engraver Ren Ganting. In 1955, he joined the Shushan Pottery Cooperative (the predecessor of Yixing Zisha Craft Factory). "Clay Figure Zhang (Zhang Jinghu)" studio learns color sculpture. In 1978, he created "Snow Boat Learning Painting", etc., participated in the Yixing Ceramic Exhibition and the National Ceramic Art Exhibition in Beijing successively, and won the National Art Design Award. Later, he created group works based on literature, art, and folk allusions, such as "Eight Monsters Sitting" and "Eight Immortals Drinking in a Drink". In 1987, he presided over the Sculpture Art Studio of Ji Fou Zhai, Zisha No. 2 Factory, and was enthusiastic about cultivating young artists. In April 1990, "Eighteen Arhats" was published in the "Second China Purple Pottery Art Exhibition". Founded Changle Pottery Village in 1995.
Xu Xiutang integrated pottery carvings and pottery sculptures to design and create unique purple clay pots, such as "Lingle Leopard Pot", "Suzaku Pot", "Bamboo Ping Ping" and so on. Published thesis "Art Theory of Zisha Pottery Carving". In 1992, he co-edited "Yixing Zisha Treasures" with Gu Jingzhou and Li Changhong, which was published by Hong Kong Sanlian Bookstore. There are many monographs "Chinese Zisha", "Master Talking Device-Xu Xiutang Talking about Zisha", "Zisha Crafts", "Yixing Zisha Zisha Crafts Illustrated Book", etc. for Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House, Shanghai Dictionary Publishing House, Zhejiang People's Publishing House, Published and distributed by Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Publishing House. His works "Sit on Eight Monsters", "Bingyin", "Immortal Life", etc. won the first prize in the National Ceramic Competition. "Tea Caddy" Collection of the British Museum in London, England. Works such as "Liu Hai Plays with Golden Toad", "Gong Chun", "Zhang Tian", and "The First Pottery Monk" have been collected by major museums at home and abroad.
In April 1990, Xu Xiutang’s set of “The Eighteen Arhats (Luohan)” was displayed at the econd Exhibition of Chinese Art ofYixing Clay. The artist, with experiences accumulated over decades, and at the peak of his life of art, obtained his inspiration fromthe images of deities with a multitude of Buddhist worshippers and produced this realistic set of works expressing the humanity andmentality of the contemporary world. Xu’s “The Eighteen Arhats” are completely different from those produced previously. Each of his arhats has his own facial expression, poise and personality. With consideration of displaying the eighteen figures in a concertedarray and packing them away with ease, they, as one set, are arranged at three different levels – upper, middle and lower – supported by frames. With long arms and legs extending over the frames, more delights are added to the overall composition.
徐秀棠累積了數十年的雕塑經驗，在他技藝最純熟、創作生命最巔峰之時，於1990 年在中國第二屆紫砂陶藝展覽會上，發表這套《十八羅漢》，藉由佛家頌拜的偶像，引發創作的靈感，反應現世生活情結，是一套人性化表現的作品。他所塑造的是全然不同於以前的《十八羅漢》，他賦予這十八個人物，有各自的面貌姿態，且各有個性刻劃。因考慮到人物間的相互呼應，和收藏陳列欣賞的方便，整套形式架構上，分成上、中、下三個層次的組合；用架山作支架，用長手臂、長腳在 架山上下作串聯貫氣，以增加情趣。