Adventures in Porcelain

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Budai, early 20th century. Dehua, Fujian Province, China. Gift of F. & P. Hickley to the Peranakan Museum, Singapore.

Adventures in Porcelain

the Hickleys and the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

High fired ceramics have been produced in the Dehua region of southern Chinese province of Fujian since at least the Song dynasty. But the characteristic, unctuously glazed white porcelain (known in the west as blanc de chine) only appeared in Dehua in the latter part of the Ming dynasty.

The talk describes the journey of a collection of blanc de chine – how it travelled from the home of Singapore collectors, Frank and Pamela Hickley, via Dehua to a new home in the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore. A sizeable group remains on permanent view at the ACM today. The talk concludes with an assessment of the collection with reference to recent archaeological excavations and several examples of recent production from Dehua, some of which will be entering the ACM collection.

Dr Kenson Kwok trained as an architect at the University of Sydney, then obtained a PhD in environmental psychology from University College London. A life-long interest in ceramics led him to a second career radically different from the first, as director of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. This, unexpectedly, led to his establishing not one but three new museums. In an 18-year career, Kenson oversaw the formation of the museums’ collections and exhibition programmes and set new standards for museum curating, display and design in Singapore. In retirement he remains active in the museum sector. Kenson’s current appointments include board member of the National Museum Singapore and panel member of the Museum Restoration Fund of TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair).

How to Book: By July 15 please RSVP your attendance by email to Margaret White ( Please RSVP before paying. Registered recipients will be sent the Zoom link a day or two prior to the lecture.

How to Pay
1. By Direct Debit (“your name KWOK” as reference)
BSB: 012 003 Account Number: 2185 28414
Account Name: The Asian Arts Society of Australia

2. By credit card on this website – see booking button on top right of this page


18 July, 2022
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm AEST
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