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Xing Liangkun
The story of a determined potter

Xing Liangkun was born in Shandong Province, China in 1955. As a child, he grew up in his sister's home in Dalian. After leaving school early, Xing worked as a farmer, carpenter, welder and gardener. It was as a cultivator of a new breed of Lily, that Xing became financially independent.

With this new found wealth, he soon turned his attention to collecting pottery, particularly Japanese pottery, and within 10 years had put together one of China's largest private collections of Japanese ceramics. In 1989, a Japanese collector offered him US$13 million for the collection, but Xing refused and instead donated it to a local museum. He then decided that he wanted not only to collect, but also to make pottery. He doggedly set out to learn what he could about throwing, glazing and firing, in the process giving up all his belongings, selling his house and even losing his wife, who divorced him.

Eventually, Xing mastered a technique where the glaze exhibits sunken cracks. Xing refers to this technique as the "deep-base vein hacking ceramic glaze". Experimenting further with this technique, Xing also developed a method whereby the cracks protrude.

Xing's work is represented in numerous museum collections in China and is sometimes presented by government officials as gifts to foreign dignitaries. However, amazingly, despite his success, Xing does not actually sell any of his work, except to raise money for charity.

Xing Liangkun is currently guest professor at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts and a researcher at the Nanjing Palace Museum and Sichuan Jiguang Eastern Cultural Research Institute.

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