Nicolas ChowChairman Asia | Worldwide Head and Chairman of Chinese Works of Art
The collection of imperial porcelain of Alan Chuang ranks among the very finest ever assembled and includes masterpieces from the 14th to the 18th centuries, focusing on the greatest periods of imperial patronage during the Ming and Qing dynasties. This small selection from the collection that we have the privilege of presenting here highlights one of the underlying threads in the collection – a particular inclination towards exquisite porcelains, diminutive in size, that allow a perfect communion of the eye and the hand in their aesthetic enjoyment.
This distinctive taste in Chinese porcelain has its roots in the unrivalled refinement of the emperors under whose patronage gems of porcelain were produced and have endured among Chinese connoisseurs over half a millennium. It is porcelain not as mere decoration, but as a rarefied, almost confidential pleasure to be savoured quietly. A dainty cup will only suffer the hand of a most adroit potter, while a diminutive canvas requires a most delicate brush and softest palette. The supreme delight for the connoisseur handling a small gem of porcelain does not reside either in the precise potting, elegant painting or the silkiness of the glaze, but rather in the confluence of all three at that very moment.
This beautiful assemblage includes exquisite porcelains produced during the celebrated reigns of the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors and were passed down within the Forbidden City in Beijing until the fall of the Qing dynasty, before entering the collections of connoisseurs such as Edward T. Chow, Paul and Helen Bernat, Robert Chang and T.T. Tsui. Today, these diminutive treasures will once again pass hands and delight a new generation of connoisseurs.