Liya Wan

Liya Wan

Liya Wan (in China: Wan Liya) is a contemporary Chinese ceramic artist who was born in 1963 and who hails from Qingdao. He received his education from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Art after leaving his job as a merchant seaman. Once he graduated from the Academy of Fine Art, he established his own ceramic studio.

Wan Liya is recognized as one of the earliest artists involved in Chinese contemporary ceramic art and he has been involved in many significant art activities that greatly influenced the progress of the modernization of Chinese ceramic art. Wan's art uses a combination of ceramic quality and sculptural language, respecting the time-honored tradition of Chinese ceramic art and reflecting the intense change in contemporary society.

In addition to his commanding artistic presence in China, he has variously exhibited, won awards, given lectures, and undertaken terms as artist-in-residence in places as far afield as The Netherlands,Finland, and Slovenia, and in addition to all this he has somehow managed to complete a number of major commissions in China. This is a man of phenomenal artistic vision and extraordinary creative power.


British Museum, London, VK / Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, VK / Zhejiang Art Museum, China / Arctic Ceramic Center, Posio, Finland 

“Some years ago I visited the Zhucheng Museum in Shandong (China) and was drawn to the Longshan Mountain black earthenware with its futuristic forms, dating back to 2500 B.C. I experienced a feeling of the compression of time. When I returned, I made the series ‘New Longshan’, inspired by those works.”

Objects by Liya Wan