Tong Bin the Immortal Father of porcelain manufacture

In the Chinese porcelain capital of Jingdezhen is to be found The Wind and Fire Immortal Temple in the grounds of the city’s Ancient Kiln Museum. The temple is dedicated to Tong Bin, the Immortal of Wind and Fire.

 wpid-jingdezhen-ancient-kiln-museum-tong-bin-lr.jpg.jpegShrine to Tong Bin, Ancient Kiln Museum, Jingdezhen

By reputation, Tong Bin was the master of kiln firing in the city during the Wanli period who sacrificed his life firing the giant Imperial jar. As a result he was honoured as the kiln god. The temple itself was built during the Jiaqing period (1796-1820) and is 485 sq m in size with areas for the Ancestral Hall and Bedchambers and a deep pool located in the centre of the structure.


Tang Ying master of porcelain commemorated


The memorial to Tang Ying at Jingdezhen Ancient Kiln Museum. Photo Paul Harris

Tang Ying (1682-1756) remains to this day one of the great masters of Chinese porcelain and is commemorated at the Ancient Kiln Park in the porcelain capital of Jingdezhen.

He was born in Mukden in north China (now known as Shenyang) during the Qing era. He is also known as Jun Gong or ‘Wo Ji Old Man’. In 1728, the sixth year of the Yongzheng period, he was appointed as an Associate at the Royal porcelain plant. He supervised the kilns until the 21st year of the Qianlong period. During the period of his supervision of the kilns, he developed an intensive knowledge of the techniques of manufacture of porcelain. The best of his examples are still identified as ‘Tang Kiln porcelain’. He wrote several authoritative books about porcelain, including Tao Cheng Chronicle, Porcelain Making Illustrations, and Stories of Porcelain Makers. He also left behind a store of documents which today serve as primary source material.