MenLo is a studio and gallery focused on growing the international artist community in Jingdezhen, providing access to the city for aspiring ceramic artists, and amplifying young and emerging Chinese contemporary artists in any medium. As a studio we are committed to working in an integrated way with the city, its artisans, and its industry. As a gallery we do not have representational relationships with artists, we facilitate making, and try to find the work done in our studio homes in various galleries, museums, and other venues around China. 

2024 Jingdezhen Summer Sessions

Each year we host intensive summer sessions with the dual goals of growing participants’ ceramic skills and knowledge and exploring jingdezhen and its unique ceramic possibilities. As a group we tour the city making stops at museums, factories, artisan workshops, artist studios, markets, exhibitions, and amazing scenic spots all around the city and the surrounding countryside, all while making work for a session-end exhibition under the guidance and with the inspiration of a professional workshop leader from the field of international ceramics. We also do our best to help our participants to mix with the culture of Jingdezhen, and show off the fact that Jingdezhen is both a sneaky-good food city, and possibly the youngest and hippest art capital to be found. Housing, studio materials, studio space, entrance fees, assistance, and transportation within Jingdezhen are all included in our session fee of 14,000 RMB.

Registration is open open to anyone with a basic ceramic knowledge base. To apply or for more information email us at MenLoJDZ@Gmail.com




Building Form and Concept with Natalia Arbelaez. June 16 - July 6

Join artist Natalia Arbelaez in a three-week workshop exploring Jingdezhen and all its ceramic history, technology, and craft together. This residency will focus on mentorship, conceptual theory, and professional development. We will discuss ideas of cultural influences and research and how we use these in our practice. Sculptural making will also be a focal point in the classroom, From gestural loose making to the more modeled form. We will go from the sketch to the physical and all sculptural techniques that best execute an idea. Focus will be on conceptualizing and building sculptural and decorative ceramic projects and integrating the techniques and processes unique to Jingdezhen into those objects.




Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American artist with a B.F.A. from Florida International University and an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. In 2016-2017 she was a Rittenberg Fellow at Clay Art Center; Port Chester, New York and was awarded the Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that funded a residency to Watershed in Newcastle, ME. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections, such as the Everson Museum and MAD Museum. She has been recognized by NCECA as a 2018 Emerging Artist and was a 2018-19 resident artist at the Ceramics Program at Harvard University. Natalia was an artist in residence at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and a Resident Artist at AMOCA in Pomona, CA.

Natalia on Her Work

"My work takes the place of a storyteller, from my personal narratives of my Colombian family’s immigration to the research of pre-Columbian South American presence, to my American, latchkey, after school cartoon upbringing. Each of these identities plays a role in my work to illustrate a self portrait of what it is like to be a Mestizo, Colombian, and American hybrid. I combine these stories with research, familial narratives, and cartoon embellishments that create surreal stories, much to my efforts, of the likes of Gabriel García Márquez. A way to autobiographically narrate history with its ups and downs of humor and tears.

I use my work to research undervalued histories, such as Latin American, Amerindian, and Women of Color. I work with how these identities are lost through conquest, migration, and time, gained through family, culture, exploration, and passed down through tradition, preservation, and genetic memory. In my research I have found value in my histories and aim to help continue my cultures by preserving and honoring them.

I’ve embraced my use of craft and clay not only in my process but also in historical and cultural research. In my research of lost, conquered, and overlooked communities, I have found that craft belongs in my pursuit. I relate to the role of the craftsperson, often linked to women’s work, working class, and cultural tradition. The material also plays an important role as I examine the history of my ancestral material. Like how Terra-cotta has been seen historically as a lesser material and Majolica glaze brought over from Europe and used as a surface to hide terra-cotta, metaphors I use describe colonization."

Session Schedule

Day 1: Studio + Chang Hong neighborhood tour - welcome dinner, mixer
Day 2: Sculpture Factory neighborhood tour + visit mold makers, public kilns, clay factory – Get materials, Introduction by Natalia
Day 3: Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum + Lao Ya Tan Tile Makers - Tao Xi Chuan studio visits with international artists + Museum of Industry
Day 4: Idea check in with Natalia - Work Day
Day 5: MingFangYuan large ware factory + Mr Bottle ceramic factory visit
Day 6: Old factory, buy bisque ware, visit throwers, tour glaze shops - PWS Lecture
Day 7: Pottery Workshop Creative Market – Blue & White under glazing lesson
Day 8: work day - Carving Lesson
Day 9: 7:45 Ghost Market + FanJiaJing replica makers – decal street
Day 10: Work Day - spray booth demo – decal demo – Lesson from Natalia
Day 11: Mold Making Demo – JinKeng hike – drop off wood kiln work
Day 12: Work Day - Move First  round of Work to Kiln
Day 13: Work Day – submit decal factory order - Progress Check with Natalia
Day 14: Work Day – Lesson from Natalia
Day 15: Work Day – overglaze and luster lesson
Day 16: Visit to Zhenrutang private collection - night gallery street, snack market, night club
Day 17: Visit the Ceramic Palace - WangHu Hiking – Double Dragon Waterfall
Day 18: Yu Yao Museum + Ancient Alleys – night out
Day 19: Gu YaoMuseum - Ban Lu Gang Home Dinner
Day 20: Cleaning, show setup, Show Opening
Day 21: Session Wrap Up, Final Tasks, Departure






Summer Session #2. July 26 - September 15 with Alex Simpson




Alex Simpson is a British/Austrian artist working in London with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art and a BA in Illustration from the University of Brighton. She is an educator at the London Sculpture Workshop and City Lit and a non-executive director of Gaada, a visual arts workshop in Shetland. She has exhibited her work extensively in the U.K. and abroad including exhibitions at Christies, Unit 1 Gallery, Sluice Gallery, Thames Side Studios Gallery, The Horse Hospital. She has twice been included in the British Ceramics Biennale with a shortlist award in 2017. In 2020 she was selected for a residency and exhibition at Taattisten Tila Finland.

Alex on her work
“I am interested in clay’s relationship to the body and how it can embody ideas around trace, materiality, sensation and haptics.
  I look to create a sense of uncertainty; an ambiguity of form and surface whilst attempting to capture a presence of life or movement contained within a material.

  Through processes such as adding ink into clay bodies, creating drawings with clay, adding organic materials and working with found clay in all it’s different states from liquid to solid to dust, my ideas expand outwards. These have often become installations of fragments of fired and unfired clay bodies.
  While some of my sculptural works take on amorphous associations with limbs, skin and touch, I also explore other mediums such as film and textiles, drawing on the fluidity and transience of material and bodily worlds.
  My approach to creating is to move between intuitive and playful to considered and controlled; an oscillation between conscious and unconscious making, to allow the unknown to enter into the making process. There is always a negotiation between material and maker, as I choose materials that partly direct the making through their fluid and relatively unpredictable nature.”




Standard housing

...is a single room with en-suite bathroom. This is a studio-style apartment in an apartment building and does not share common space. The building is a leisurely 5 minute walk to the studio. Please be aware that standard chinese beds are very firm, if this is an issue for you be sure to let us know. Participants are responsible for their own electricity and water usage including a 100 rmb deposit towards the cost of the two utilities.



  

  Contact us @ MenLoJDZ@Gmail.com or follow us @ps_jingdezhen on instagram.
Visit us in person F02 Chang Hong, Xinchang, Jingdezhen Jiangxi 333000, China.