After the cultural revolution in China, ceramic ware production was fragmented and distributed among many small and medium factories throughout Jingdezhen (景德镇), the porcelain capital of China. These factories were busy churning out standard fare ceramic products that were ordered by overseas clients. Due to a lack of design facilities, ceramic wares produced were often monotonous – copied and replicated freely among the different factories. Like many other industries in China, the ceramic industry became a factory for the world.
This sad state of affairs contrasted sharply with the rich heritage for porcelain ware that had a history spanning more than 1400 years in China. The Chinese made the earliest known porcelain around A.D.700 and held a global monopoly on its production for over a thousand years. Chinese porcelain only reached Europe in the 14th century. The art of making porcelain was only developed in Japan in the 16th century and in Europe in the 17th century. For centuries, China made the world’s finest porcelain.