March 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sonoma Community Center
276 E Napa St
Sonoma, CA 95476
Kala Stein

Artist Lecture & Potluck with Chinese Masters: Jackson Li & Meiqun Gu

Room: Gallery 212

Suggested donation: $20

6-7pm Potluck & Reception

7- 9pm Artist Lectures & Special Programming

Please visit the workshop page to view artist’s biographies and learn about the 2019 International Cultural Exchange Week. There will be two days of demonstrations, lectures, two versions of Chinese tea service, and opportunity to make natural brushes. Organizing partners Sonoma Community Center, Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and the Chinese Ceramics Art Council, USA bring two Chinese Master Artists to Sonoma for a unique and in-depth art & cultural experience.

Friday, March 22, 1pm-5pm: Brush Making Workshop w/ Tea Service

The Chinese brush is a magic tool which can be traced back to over five thousand years ago when first potters were using it to decorate their pots. It has been a strong tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation in Chinese Sumi Painting and Ceramics.

Jackson Li will lead a workshop in making traditional natural brushes using foraged wood handles and natural fibers. The brushes can be used for decorating on paper and clay surfaces. He will demonstrate how to use the brushes in this workshop and each participant will make two brushes to keep.

Participants will enjoy a Chinese Tea Service as part of this workshop before the potluck and Artist Lecture with Meiquan Gu at 6pm.

Saturday, March 23: YiXing Teapots, Traditional YiXing Tea Ceremony, & Sumi Brushwork using Handmade Brushes.

10m-1pm: YiXing Teapot Demo and YiXing Tea Service with Master Potter Meiqun Gu (pronounced: May-chin Goo) (With Translator)

Approximately five to six thousand years ago ceramic activity first emerged in the city of Yixing which is located in the southern Jiangsu Province. At that time, Yixing city was one of the famous production areas of ceramic pottery in the east, but in the Tang Dynasty potters started to teem with zisha ni or purple sand clay. By the early Ming Dynasty, the popularity of this specialized form of pottery increased, and replaced other ceramic ware to become the preferred tea accessory.

A YiXing Teapot is not thrown on a wheel. It is a entirely hand built process that takes years to master. From a carefully pounded and smoothed clay, each of the elements of the teapot are formed separately and constructed together to become a meticulously molded teapot.

YiXing Teapot Master, Meiqun Gu will demonstrate traditional handmade YiXing teapots step by step in this workshop. Finished pots are fired to cone 5, creating a porous clay that absorbs the natural oils of the tea.

Meiqun Gu will share a Tea Service specific to the YiXing tradition.

2pm-5pm: Chinese Brush Work and Painting Demo: Jackson Li

The Chinese brush is a magic tool which can be traced back to over five thousand years ago when first potters were using it to decorate their pots. It has been a strong tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation in Chinese Sumi Painting and Ceramics.

Jackson Li will demonstrate his skilled brushwork on paper and pottery. There will an opportunity for participants to paint with the brushes (be sure not miss the brush making workshop the night before!).

Participants will also enjoy a tea ceremony by Jackson Li to make this workshop an unforgettable experience.

Jackson Li:







Jackson Li: Master Potter

Jianshen (Jackson) Li is one of the most influential Chinese contemporary Ceramic Artists. He is a member of both the International Academy of Ceramics, UNESCO, and the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts; he is also Honorary Dean of the International School at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute. Jianshen has a distinguished international academic career. He gained Master’s degrees from Jingdezhen Institute of Ceramics and Alfred University in New York and has taught at a number of prestigious American and Canadian Art schools. During his long career, he has given lectures at more than one hundred universities, museums and institutes across the world.  

Twenty years ago, he initiated and founded Sanbao International Ceramic Village, a leading ceramic centre of international standing. In Sanbao, traditional Chinese ceramic language elements are given a western syntax. The Village has become a prominent model and platform for cross-cultural communication, and offers a poetic return to the idyllic lifestyle depicted by the Chinese poet Tao Yuan Ming. Jianshen and Sanbao have been featured in “Chinese World”, “Character” and “Porcelain Road”, broadcast by CCTV-4, CCTV-10 and CCTV-9 respectively. Jianshen’s work is very highly regarded and widely collected by international museums and galleries.

Apart from devoting himself to ceramic practice and education, he is also an experienced curator who has directed and curated many influential exhibitions, films and events. From 2004 to 2010, he curated a series of events including the Jingdezhen Millennium International Ceramic Fair Promotion Ceremony, Contemporary International Ceramic Art, and Mayor Peak BBS. He has also coordinated important inter-governmental/national ceramic cultural activities, such as co-signing agreements with mayors of ceramic cities around the world. Since 2016, as an influential arts ambassador of “One Belt, One Road”, Jianshen has devoted himself to organizing and curating exhibitions of Intangible Cultural Heritage and international knowledge exchange and collaboration. He has been awarded honours by the Ukrainian and Chinese governments for his significant contribution to Sino-Ukraine cultural exchange and collaboration. In 2017, he was invited as Principal Curator to work on a series of projects including the National Culture and Arts Festival of the Mekong River Basin in Lancang River, Xishuangbanna; the International Pottery Symposium on Taoism; the International Pottery Creation Camp on Dai Tao Sound; the Audio Video on Dai Tao Sound; and the New Dai Tao International Contemporary Ceramics Art Exhibition.

Meiqun Gu, Master Potter



Meiqun Gu was born in 1966 to a pottery-making family in Yixing. She began to learn to make pottery from her mother in 1982. In 1996, she began her studies with Chinese ceramic artist Wu Ming. In 1998, she founded the Mei Tao Yuan Yixing Teapot Research Camp.

Meiqun Gu has been making art for 35 years. She loves literature, ancient ceramics and folk artworks. She integrates shape, life, philosophy, and life attitude into a whole. Over the years, she has found her own way and style of making teapots. She has won prestigious prizes such as the Golden Prize of the Four Most Famous Historical Kilns Exhibition; the gold medal from the Chinese Arts and Crafts Hundred Flowers Awards; placed fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth in China’s National Ceramic Art Design Competition; the gold medal of the Jiangsu Ceramic Art Innovation; and the silver medal of the Yibo Cup (Provincial Crafts and Arts Awards). Her works are in the permanent collections of: Ziguang Attic of China State Council, Prince Kung’s Palace Museum, and the Cultural and Educational. She has been invited to the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and many famed universities in China to teach and lecture about teapot making technology and teapot culture. She holds a Master of Arts and Crafts (Jiangsu Province) and a Master of Ceramic Art (Jiangsu Province).

Distinctions include:

Professor Senior Industrial Artist, Member of the International Academy of Ceramics (UNESCO)

Member of the China Ceramic Industry Association

Member of the Chinese Arts and Crafts Institute

Vice president of the Jiangsu Ceramic Art Committee,

Member of the Jiangsu Folk Literature and Art Association

Visiting Research Fellow of the Purple Clay Research Institute of the Chinese National Academy of Arts

Representative Inheritor of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Wuxi City)

Provincial pacesetter, Deputy to the Yixing National People’s Congress (five consecutive elections)