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Ceramicist | Lin Wen-yueh

  • Date:2023-09-04
Lin Wen-yueh

Chinese Name: 林文嶽

Born: 1962年

Place of Birth: Tainan County (Southern Taiwan)

Did You Know?

Ceramicist Lin Wen-yueh has created unique white porcelain and celadon ceramics using local elements from his hometown of Baihe (白河), which differ from the white porcelain of Jingdezhen, China, and the celadon of the Song Dynasty Ru kiln, impressing collectors from Guangdong and Beijing.

Born and raised in Baihe Township, Tainan County (now Baihe District, Tainan City), Lin Wen-yueh aspired to become a painter from a young age. He later enrolled in the National College of Arts' Chinese painting program (now known as the Department of Fine Arts at National Taiwan University of Arts), where he studied Chinese painting, seal carving, and delved into philosophy, aesthetics, and Zen literature. During this period, Lin found great joy in painting, as it allowed him to create a world of spiritual liberation.

After graduating from college, Lin chose to return to his childhood home in Baihe and independently pursue his artistic career. Since then, his artistic development has been closely linked to the cultural context of Baihe.

In 1995, driven by the government’s creative industry policies, the first Baihe Lotus Festival was held, featuring the local specialty of lotus flowers. This event provided Lin Wen-yueh with an opportunity to showcase his talents. He set up a booth at the creative market, selling hand-painted clothes with lotus flower designs on white T-shirts, which sparked a buying frenzy. Lin combined lotus flowers with art and focused on promoting the art of living related to lotus flowers. For example, he noticed many discarded lotus seed pods on the roadside, so he boiled them to extract dye and used them, along with other plants, to create unique patterns on clothing.


Unlike his proficiency in calligraphy and painting, which was developed through formal training at college, Lin Wen-yueh's ceramic artistry began through his involvement in community development work. He learned pottery from folk artists and brought his creations directly into daily life. With a deep concern for the local community, Lin Wen-yueh conducted daily experiments at his Baihe Pottery Studio, refining local natural materials for use in pottery.

In 1997, Lin Wen-yueh experimented with firing ceramics using Baihe’s clay, plant ash, and hot spring mud. After two to three years, he successfully produced Baihe's unique white porcelain and celadon, named "Baihe White (白河白)" and "Guanling Celadon (關嶺青)." Baihe White is made with lotus seed pod ash, longan wood ash, and glaze, while Guanling Celadon is made with hot spring mud from Guanziling (關子嶺) mixed with glaze. These unique glaze colors give a sense of natural affinity in their appearance. Lin's pottery not only focuses on shaping forms but also extends upon the expression of his ink paintings.

Lin Wen-yueh incorporates ink painting techniques into wood fired ceramics, celadon, and clay sculpture, resulting in pottery works that are rich in Taiwanese cultural heritage and local characteristics, which are truly impressive. His creations often draw inspiration from the lotus flowers of his hometown, Baihe, and the surrounding natural ecology, reflecting a deep attachment to the local community. Lin uses craftsmanship as the core to promote community transformation in the lotus towhship—Baihe, driving industrial development and cultural tourism. He believes that art must be integrated into life and connected to life to have vitality. With over thirty years of experience in craft creation, Lin, who is passionate about painting lotus flowers, combines the visual language of Oriental inkwash with pottery, creating a series of unique "Baihe Pottery" works.

By integrating the lyrical expression of ink painting with the practicality of craftsmanship, Lin Wen-yueh's pottery exhibits a warm and rustic aesthetic taste. Through years of continuous effort, he has gained recognition in both personal artistic creation and community work, having been selected for the 2004 Taiwan Top Ten Classic Kilns and the 2007 Taiwan Crafts Workshop. Based on his pride and identification with the land, he also hopes to elevate "Baihe Pottery" to a higher level, showcasing the excellent quality of Taiwanese ceramic craftsmanship in the future.