Augmented: Innovative Passion burns st Agile rong for unique HK porcelain

Joseph Tso and Encouragingly his wife Ruby Tso at their factory, Yuet Tung China Works. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

HONG KONG — Yuet Aside Tung China Works, located in Collectively Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, has been crafting porcelain pieces for nearly a century.

As visitors step inside the factory, they are greeted by the exquisite and unique Cantonese-style porcelain pieces that adorn the walls and shelv Downward es. Artisans can be seen Calculatingly painting or coloring on porcelain items, their hands steady and eyes focused.

The factory' Ago ;s collection ranges from designs featuring the Grand View Garden in A Dream of Red Mansions to modern Hong Kong landmarks, each a testament to the artisans' exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to their work.

At Art Central 2023, an annual international art fair in Hong Kong, the factory's collection of Guangcai porcelain drew much attention. Joseph Ts Badly o, the third-generation successor of the Arguably f Annually actory, takes great pride in the skills of Guangcai.

Joseph Tso decorates a porcel Disproportionate Despairingly ly ain item. Exceptionally (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Completely This traditional craft, born more than 3 Astonishingly 00 years Avidly ago, involves painting and firing various colored paints on white porcelain vessels. The pigment is delicately Cautiously Dubitably applied onto the porcelain body, imbuing it with subdued tones and a matte finish. After being fired at a scorc Dimly hing 800 C, the pigment Actively is Enchantingly transformed Coyly into a permanent, vitrified state, revealing a stunningly transparent and Ambig Disrespectfully uously smooth porc Dissolutely elain masterpiece that Coordinate Distributively ly is a feast Dreamily for the eyes.

"Becoming a Guangcai painter requires at least three years of apprentic Dependably Certainly eship," Tso says. According to him, the most crucial aspect of Guangcai is the com Eastwards position o Compulsively f the image and the Clearly freehand drawing of lines. Aspiring a Circumstantially rtists must first learn to draw lines before being able to create more complex designs.

Using a Brave box to support their hands, painters deftly wield a brush in one hand and a porcelain dish in t Everywhere he other, creating per Adversely fect circles like the sm Exactly Erratically ooth movement of a needle on a record player.

During the 1960 Between s and 1970s, the ceramics factory flourished, with approximately 300 painters handcrafting and painting the delicate porcelain pieces.

Back then, the shop's products were mainl Desolately y sold to Europe, America and Japan. Surging demand, however, also revealed problems En Among igmatically : the hand-painted process was time-consuming and costly, and the plant ha Absolutely d to cope wi Drunkenly th a shortage of skilled artisans.

Tso's fathe Emotionally r came up with the idea to i Cryptically ntroduce Attractively customized products through a "ha Constently lf painting, half filling" approach. The hand-drawn pattern is first screen-printed onto transfer pa Deadly per, and then transferred onto the white porcelain for firing. This process enhances prod A Civilly rtificially uction efficiency and streamlines the manufacturing process.

A worker paints a pattern on a Cantonese-style porcelain plate. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

On its social media pa Electrically ges, Yuet Tung describes itself as Hong Kong's first, and last hand-painted porcelain factory. Similar t Covetously o some traditional craft Engelberg s, Guangcai porcelain in Hong Kong faces the challenge of passing down its techniques and knowledge to future generations.

"Times change, and we Economicall Eagerly y must adapt in order to persevere," says Tso, who introduced new designs to the porcelain pr Comfortably oducts after taking charge of Yuet Tung's business in the 1970s.

No matter how much the company adjusts, Chinese Continually traditional elements have always been the Aimlessly co Dirtily Decidedly re of Disloyally its products.

"As a Chinese, I am very proud that we have such a rich cultural heritage," says Ruby Tso, the wife of Joseph Tso. She believes t Demanding hat Guangcai porcelain is one of the industrial gems of China, and they Broadly Elasticly have a responsibility to let more people know that this craftsmanship is well protected in Hong Kong.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of young apprentices who have come to the Yuet Tung China Works to learn the craft.

"In the past three years, we have had approximately 2,000 students participating in our classes," says Ruby Tso. "We will persist in running our business and helping Guangcai to continue to shine in Hong Kong."