Look! This is a Mazu procession, and these are the
lion dancers, right?
Yeah, the guys in the masks. Cool.
Hey Cedric, welcome to the ceramics capital of Taiwan,
Yingge, New Taipei City. Yingge in its heyday had
more than a thousand ceramic factories, in just this
tiny little town. The town was named after a giant
rock that looked like a bird, but that’s a story for
Today’s story is about pottery, ceramics.
And this one is my favorite. There is this creature
that looks like a lion but also some other kinds of
mythical creatures at the same time.
When people say “ceramics,” the first thing that pops
into my mind is art. But especially in the old days,
ceramics almost encompassed all aspects of everyday
life, for example: toilets, roof shingles, tiles,
cups, bowls, dishes, pots… you name it.
You know, if I had grown up in Taiwan, I would say,
“this looks exactly like my grandmother’s kitchen.”
Oh is that right?
Yeah, look there is a pot especially for fermented
Ah it’s wider at the bottom so I imagine it’s easier
to fit all the pieces of square tofu in it.
But say, how did Yingge become the center of pottery
Oh, it’s a bit hot in here.
This is a tunnel kiln, the inside of a tunnel kiln.
They were used for firing toilets and tiles.
Can I touch? Ahhh! Just kidding.
So to answer you question from earlier, lots of clay
in the nearby mountains, wood, trees and coal to fire
the kilns, and its location on the railway that goes
along the western side of Taiwan,
From Keelung all the way down to Kaohsiung, right?
Right. So the products that were made here were easily
transported, so the potteries basically made their
way into just about all the homes of just about everybody
and their grandmothers.
Cedric, the museum building itself was quite something.
When it first opened, it won a couple of really prestigious
architecture awards. I really like how there is lots
of open space and natural light. It’s especially beautiful
in the afternoon.
And admission is free. You should definitely come.