I have always been fascinated by ceramic pillows although I do not know much about them. It seems in ancient China and Japan, women slept on ceramic pillows sometimes wrapped in cloth for comfort. I only knew that in the old days many Japanese women would sleep on wooden or ceramic pillows placed under the neck to pervert them from messing up their elaborate hair-do. Of course the wealthier the person, the more valuable the pillow would be, and in this collection there were some extremely interesting pillows. They came in all shapes and sizes, some carved and painted elaborately, and others just looked like lumps of clay.
The Tang Dynasty is notorious for being the most poetic period in Chinese history so the exhibitors have made use of numerous poems strategically placed around the hall to compliment the relics.
There were also some fascinating pillows that had entire poems inscribed on them. They believed this would somehow influence sweet dreams.
I was fortunate enough that most of the relics on display were accompanied by English explanations, but not all, overall though it is not necessary to pay for a guide or interpreter. Here I even found the translation for the pillow pictured above.
Another common theme on the ceramic pillows would be the carvings of fierce animals. People believed the symbols would keep away nightmares or evil spirits. I particularly like these pillows. Some are more intricate than others of course.
Other pillow artists preferred to paint imaged on blocks of ceramic. It amazes me how after hundreds of years these pillows have retained their shine and integrity. There were also notable elements of the use of depth on some of the pictures. Some paintings were colorful and elaborate while other minimalist designs were aesthetically soothing. Even so, the painting of the crane does rest on the back of a ferocious tiger.
This is by far my most preferred ceramic pillow. Apart from being simple and elegant, it also looked most comfortable. I do not get how people slept on these things in the old days.
The rest of the exhibition was of pottery which I do not really give a shit for.