Event Details


10/08/2019 - 30/08/2019

Glass is an inorganic material made from a molten mixture of natural silica sand, sodium carbonate, and lime. Over a long stretch of time, humans have experimented with different additives to produce glass of new types and higher quality. As one of the earliest man-made materials, glass shines with different colours in different places through the long course of civilizational development and fusion.

Glass is living proof of exchanges between the East and the West. As far back as over 2,000 years ago, glass came into existence in China. The sheer quantity of faience objects and glass beads unearthed evidence of the early contact between oriental and occidental cultures. In 200 BC, the flourishing Silk Road pushed such exchanges to a new high. From 3rd to 7th century AD, blown glass from the Sasanian Empire became a symbol of wealth for Chinese nobility. Glass blowing technology thus managed to thrive in a short period.

 Since the 13th century AD, colored glass, known to the Chinese as Liuli, has been mass-produced in Zibo City of Shandong Province and other places in China. Among the best is Boshan Liuli (literally, “colored glass from Boshan District”). Made from locally abundant raw materials like silicon dioxide, calcium fluoride, and potassium nitrate, Boshan Liuli may appear yellow, purple-and-black, scarlet, or green.

The development of Liuli industry and art relies both on technical inheritance and exploration. As Liuli is being purified and polished by the endless river of civilizations, liuli-making techniques are becoming increasingly controllable and mature. Two sets of such techniques have so far taken shape, namely hot forming and cold processing. Based on local resources, Boshan Liuli is produced through traditional techniques like interior painting, blowing, fiber placement, and overlay carving. Carving is conducted after the forming of Liuli. It is an intricate technique consisting of a dozen steps, including blowing, overlay, carding, grinding, patterning, waxing, contouring, frosting, relief grinding, engraving, and polishing.

Interior painting is a distinctly Chinese form of art. Sticking a purpose-built slim pen into a pea-sized hole, the artist is able to paint exquisite patterns inside a glass or crystal pot. Boshan District is the cradle of Shandong-style interior painting. So far, it has contributed nearly 50 interior painting masters at a provincial or higher level. When it comes to Boshan Liuli, hot forming typically involves traditional techniques like blowing, forming, extension, sticking, twisting, and drawing. In an instant, it turns high-temperature molten glass into a desired shape.

Since the day it was invented, glass, with its unique composition and aesthetic connotation, has been conjured into countless art treasures. As glass-making techniques are gradually maturing, glass is finding wider applications and taking different forms. In no way can such a trend escape the eyes of artists, who tend to express their own feelings and creative ideas through glass sculptures and installations. Spanning interior and exterior painting, carving, hot forming, blowing and other creative art forms, Boshan Liuli fuses traditional aesthetic values and craftsmanship with modern taste.

Carving enables Boshan Liuli to describe rare animals or classical buildings, landscape or stories, while interior painting attains a degree of intricacy which is seemingly beyond human power. Boshan Liuli is, therefore, heralded as a “peculiar, magnificent, collectable” category of Chinese art.

This exhibition contains 30 works independently created by Chinese Liuli artists, which encompass such techniques as interior and exterior painting, blowing, and carving. Blending the spirit and theme of traditional handicrafts with the temper of the times, the exhibition unveils the beauty of Liuli based on the time-honored oriental culture and modern creative art.

This exhibition is co-organized by China Cultural Centre in Malta and Network of International Culuralink Entities; Supported by Zibo Municipial Bureau of Culture and Tourism and the People`s Government of Boshan district, Zibo City, Shandong Province; Sponsored by Beijing Harmony & Nonuniformity Cultural Investment Co. Ltd.


China Cultural Centre

View On Map More Info »


China Cultural Centre in Malta