Tibetan Nixi Tangdui Black Pottery Village, Shangri-La, China Sept.2015
Nixi Pottery Village is famous for its practical black potteries, most of which are fire pans, fire pots, and kettles, and the traditional pottery-making technique that has lasted for thousands of years is still employed by the locals. Though only simple wooden tools such as wooden bats, wooden hammers, and wooden separators are used in the village, the pottery-making process is rather complex. First of all, the clays are patted into sticks by the wooden bats, and then they are kneaded into various shapes by hand; at last, they are fired in a kiln after polishing and decorating. Sunnuo Qilin, a senior folk arts and crafts architect in the village, fires clay potteries at his own home, and he makes over 50 kinds of delicate potteries by controlling the fire well, including butter teapots, highland barley flagons, fire pans, fire pots, incense burners, and butter-burning lamps. Under the guidance of his father, Sunnuo Qilin has engaged in the pottery-making industry for over 40 years; his sons and grandsons also devote themselves to the industry and almost all of the villagers who follow the profession learn from him.
In September 2015, In September 2015, I visited Nixi village with a private vehicle from Shangri La, visited master Sunnuo Qilin's workshop, and watched and photographed his work. My driver Erik who knows Chinese and Tibetan was a great help during this trip. After completing my work, I asked master Sunnuo Qilin, permission to visit his home. The second floor of the two-storey wooden house was designed as a small Buddhist place of worship. One wall of the room has reserved for the exiled leader, the Dalai Lama. Although China sees the Dalai Lama as a danger to itself, he remains a religious leader for his followers. 12.Sept.2015