Earthenware and porcelain are indispensable in human lives, their respective simplicity and delicacy meeting our dual need for beauty and practicality. Originating in China, the techniques of clay shaping, glazing, and high-temperature firing were disseminated to neighboring countries through trade, and consequently the variety and design of Chinese porcelains created a rich spectrum of ceramic cultures in East Asia. Today, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as Korea, Japan and other Northeast Asian countries, absorb and explore the existing ceramic technology on the one hand, and continue to find inspiration in their own cultures to augment the uniqueness of their ceramic arts on the other. With their individual characteristics gradually becoming distinct in the long cultural history, these countries' ceramic works emulate Chinese porcelains in the current market. All of them represent the historical, aesthetic, and technological achievements of human civilization, offering a picture of eclecticism and wonder.

An inheritance of Qing legacies, the National Palace Museum's collection of ceramic wares from imperial official kilns is a world treasure. Recently, the Museum has taken the occasion of the establishment and development of its Southern Branch to expand its holding of ceramic works from neighboring countries, purchasing hundreds of new pieces to add to its extant collection from years of continuing diplomatic and commercial relations, and introducing a widened panorama of Asian civilization. This current exhibition, 'The Coordinates of Clay: Ceramics in the National Palace Museum Collection', celebrates the richness and diversity of our collection of East Asian ceramics. It opens with Chinese wares from the imperial official kilns during the long period of peace and prosperity under the reign of Emperors Kangxi (1662-1722), Yongzheng (1723-1735), and Qianlong (1736-1795) in the Qing dynasty, presenting the culminating brilliance of centuries of skills, resources, experiences, and creative energies within Chinese ceramic culture. It goes on to illustrate the parallels in glaze, decoration, shape, and other elements between Chinese ceramic culture and its neighboring counterparts. It selects representative pieces to showcase the diverse styles and regional characteristics of ceramic cultures in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Korea, and Japan. A display of artistic richness and cultural diversity, 'The Coordinates of Clay' demonstrates how ceramic cultures in East Asia emulate, exchange, and intersect with each other.