Renowned artists Zhang Shouzhi and Lu Peixin have created a series of porcelain coffee/tea sets decorated with images depicting vivid scenes of ancient Chinese sports.
These five sports are Cu Ju (similar to soccer), Chui Wan (similar to baseball), Tie Jian (shuttlecock kicking), Tou Hu (pitch-pot game in which participants throw arrows into a pot), and Ma Qiu (similar to equestrian polo).
The ceramic sets, entitled Five Continents in Harmony, include elegantly shaped, delicate pots, cups and trays made with the best Gu Ci (bone porcelain) techniques from Zibo, in Shandong province.
With unique designs and carefully painted patterns, the porcelain sets refer to such Chinese philosophical ideas as the Five Essential Elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth, and five directions of East, West, South, North and Middle, as well as the five rings of the Olympic Games, designers say.
Under the supervision of the National Art Museum of China, the China National Arts & Crafts Corp has produced a limited edition of 1,000 sets of the ceramic artworks, each set numbered with a specific Chinese character from the text of Qian Zi Wen, a 1,000-word classic Chinese poem.
About 10 leading museums from China and abroad including the National Museum of China, Shenyang Palace Museum and the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, have each received a set of the porcelain art, according to Zhang Hong, head of China National Arts & Crafts Corp.