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.