Two months ago, Uncle Wang from Shanghai’s Lu Yu Teashop helped me to purchase 9 purple clay teapots from Yixing to add to my ever expanding collection. These purple clay teapots are by Lin Yanping and Shi Zhaodi, two young up and coming artists whom are protégées of Master Wang Fujun and Master Wu Jianping.
Besides teapots from dead masters, famous masters, I am also in the practice of collecting the works of young artists for I believe that some of them will be famous masters of tomorrow. Master Wu Jianping is the best example. I started to collect his work in 2005 when he was still an unknown artist. The average price for his pot back then was RMB 400. Today, he is one the top purple clay teapot makers in China with an average price of RMB 15,000.
I was supposed to collect them myself in Shanghai this December but I’ve decided that I am going to give a break from going to China until I’ve recovered from “China lethargy” developed after my trip to Beijing in October. It is hard to describe this lethargy in words but going to China once every two or three months for the past one year is perhaps a little too much to fathom. Only frequent visitors to China, having to navigate the vast complex system of inconveniences and cheats can truly understand.
Hence, I am thankful to Uncle Wang who took the trouble to travel to Yixing for these pots and Aunty Wang for packing them nicely to be brought to me by a very good friend from Singapore, alongside three pieces of precious aged White Tea. It reached me early this month. The timing is just nice as I can spend my annual December holiday polishing these teapots and enjoying a brew or two using them while catching up on reading.
Here are the teapots I gave myself as toys for this Christmas: