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Longquan celadon design features on Winter Olympic medals

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: February 21, 2022 L M S


A trio of stunning Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games medals. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Inspired by the exquisite yubi, an ancient Chinese jade artifact dating back some 5,000 years, the design of the medals for the Beijing 2022 Olympics has made a big splash right around the world. And Longquan – a county-level city administered by Lishui city in East China's Zhejiang province – has played an important part.

Each medal features the Olympic rings at its heart with the words "XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022" engraved underneath. Design motifs of cloud patterns, an element used on the torch for the 2008 Summer Games, as well as snowflakes and a cracked ice pattern fill the outer ring of the medal.

Ding Junliang, an official inheritor of the firing skills of the famous Longquan celadon ceramics, revealed the stories behind the snowflakes and cracked ice pattern on the medal in a documentary released by the Beijing 2022 organizing committee. "The cracked ice pattern is an important part of the art form of Longquan celadon ceramics," Ding said, adding that this image had now been created an important design for the Olympic Winter Games.

Ding recalled that the organizing committee invited him in May last year to discuss how to skillfully integrate the cracked ice motif into the medals.

After many consultations, communications and design improvements, the two sides decided to simplify the cracked ice pattern and integrate it with the snowflake pattern. A mixed pattern, with the name "ice and snow pattern", was born.

The Longquan celadon is a type of green-glazed Chinese ceramic with a history of more than 1,700 years. The kilns were mostly situated in Longquan city and production is still centered there.