HOW THE BOSS OF REN FU COLLECTION SOLVED THE PUZZLE AND MYSTERY OF HUI MENG CHEN AND THE POT THAT MADE HUI MENG CHEN THE MOST FAMOUS! THE MOST POPULAR AND THE MOST WORSHIPPED AND YES, PROBABLY, THE GREATEST POTTER OF ALL TIMES………………………………………………………………………………
“ You have uncovered and solved some very difficult loopholes in banking and you have solved some of the most difficult mathematical problems in university-your brain was known for solving impossible problems with very little clues, so it should be a walk in the park for you to solve the puzzle of this most mysterious of Old Master Potter called Hui Meng Chen with so abundant clues from Ren Fu Collection’s treasure trove of archaeological data and in fact no one else but you have a monopoly of this awesome Hui Meng Chen archaeological data:surely Ren Fu Collection must have an answer?”, said a British Art friend of the boss of Ren Fu Collection.
The boss replied, “Yes, I know we are the only one in the world with all the archaeological solutions to Hui Meng Chen but my problem is I do not know Chinese and almost all the important materials are written in Chinese from books right up to the inscriptions on the Pots and I have asked my manager to get translated or English version for me. After that we will see how puzzling or mysterious that Old Master Potter Hui Meng Chen is?”
So Tony Ren gathered as much as possible all available materials on Hui Meng Chen in English, whether from reliable or unreliable sources, and handed them to the boss of Ren Fu Collection.
And we are glad to say, yes, we have touch down and Man has landed on the moon!
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are very happy to say we have a breakthrough! Thanks to the boss of Ren Fu Collection, we have found Hui Meng Chen, a discovery which was a monumentally crucial breakthrough that if not for a last minute change of mind to excavate, would have been destroyed by the tractors and bull-dozers to make way for commercial and residential development. Yes, a very, very rare Pot, in fact it’s the only archaeologically excavated and proven Shunzhi Hui Meng Chen Zhuni Hu in the world that only, we repeat only, with Ren Fu Collection huge trawler net of thousands of excavations could find and find Hui Meng Chen we did-with the finest problem-solving mind of the one and only boss of Ren Fu Collection who to those know him know he has an ingenious, razor-sharp and “rocket-science” mind and incidentally even the organized fraudster and scholar Huang Qian Liang once praised the boss after Ren Fu Collection’s first Pre-Daoguang Zisha Hus exhibition on October 2010 in Equatorial Hotel, Malaysia with these words, “ Whoever the boss of Ren Fu Collection is, he must be an ingenious and very smart person.”(see proof of remark on Huang Qian Liang’s Taiwan Blog in 2011).
This is what the boss of Ren Fu Collection want to say: I have a Master Degree from a prestigious university in the United Kingdom which proves that I am not stupid. I do not like to be a Zisha Hu businessman because I cannot cheat people and almost all Zisha Hu businessmen cheat people and sell Fake Pots.
I love treasure hunting and I am not afraid of dangers even at a great risk to my life especially in saving or rescuing old artefacts from the remote lands and seas of the world. I do not get involved in Zisha Hu and leave the business to Tony Ren, someone who is brave, honest and trustworthy which is a rare and important commodity in this very chaotic Zisha Hu world made chaotic and threatened with destruction by organized fraudsters, Fake Zisha Hus and Fake facts if nothing is done about them.
The view here is my own and I let Tony Ren, my manager, articulate it and add his own views. I hope you learners, erudite or not, can benefit from them greatly in terms of true knowledge of which this is a great milestone never before achieved by anybody in unravelling the puzzle of Hui Meng Chen and his great contributions to not just Zisha Hu but also to the tea culture.
Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, our journey in the discovery of Hui Meng Chen begins but be warned that even though this is the biggest story in Ren Fu Collection’s entire archaeological collection of stories, it could be just a part of the huge story about the real Hui Meng Chen and his contributions to Zisha Hu and Tea culture.
And for your information, unlike other stories, Ren Fu Collection’s story are based on our experience and knowledge excavating thousands of graves and tombs just like people say, “ Dead man tells no lies”.
All Ren Fu Collection’s archaeological materials, data and discoveries are like the pieces of dinosaur bones found separately and when combined together can make up the complete skeletal structure of a dinosaur and only from this complete skeletal structure can we put flesh, skin, nose, ears, claws, teeth, etc…on it and work out the age, sex, weight, height, length, what it ate, how fast it could run, and so on. Yes, when you have an awesome and huge collection of thousands of excavated teapots and tea wares with archaeological records, you can conduct archaeological investigations as if you are traveling back in time for example to the time the Old Potter lived or to the time the Pot was made.
Tea culture is more than 1,700 years old and as a Chinese I am very proud because we Chinese created it. The Tang Dynasty saw the beginning of a sophisticated tea culture which was further developed in the Song Dynasty but unfortunately both involved clumsy, unrefined tea wares or utensils like big water boiler/kettle on big stove, big tea bowls to drink mixture of tea and herbs soup from as in the Tang timeline and later in the Song timeline, whipping tea powder in a bowl and then drinking tea from the bowl, not to mention the repertoire of tea utensils used and tedious procedures involved just to make tea into bricks, cakes or powdered form…Good Heavens!
Then came the moment in the Ming Dynasty when the first Emperor thought it better to make tea directly from the tea leaves and to do away with the clumsy repertoire of tea making utensils and the tedious process of making tea leaves into bricks/cakes and so a revolution in the history of tea took place during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) when Emperor Tai-Tzu abolished the tribute of Chien-an cake tea from Fujian province in 1391. He forbade further production of caked tea and changed from powdered tea to tea leaves, thus ending the prominent position that caked tea had enjoyed since the Tang Dynasty.
Great Chinese minds started to invent or create tea drinking vessels with the sole intention of making the best tea. First was the monks of Jinshe Temple during Zhengde’s reign when they made the first Zisha Teapots which they thought are the best way to make the best tea by steeping tea leaves in the teapots and drinking tea from them. Luck then has it that a boy-servant of a Ming official by the name of Gong Chun stumbled upon the creation and started to copy the monks in making the Teapots which were made of Zisha clays. Some people say Gong Chun is a myth because there are no archaeological proofs, some people say it’s real because of anecdotal evidence and the rest not sure what to believe? Archaeological proofs notwithstanding, Zisha Hus are real and did originate from somewhere, sometime in history and all because people want to make the best possible tea and Late Ming Zisha teapots were big but good enough to make good tea but not the perfect Pot to make the best tea in……until some Potter by the name of Hui Meng Chen came along and revolutionized teapot making and in turn also indirectly revolutionizing tea drinking into an art form called Gong Fu tea Culture, yes, all because people want to make the best possible tea. We have now warmed you up for the real journey into the history of Hui Meng Chen and the revolutionary small Zhuni Hu….so let’s go full throttle!
Now let’s talk about Hui Meng Chen: the most puzzling and the most mysterious of Old Master Potter?
Unlike Shi DaBin who are supported by 7 archaeologically excavated Shi DaBin Pots( found in mainland China) and that people know what a real Late Ming Shi DaBin Zisha Hu looks like, Hui Meng Chen only has one documented Pot in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London which is a Late Ming Tianqi 7th Year Reign Zisha Pot. Other than that nobody really knows and nothing is known about Hui Meng Chen in the Zisha Hu world which is full of guess works and none is right about Hui Meng Chen……until now!
Yes, until now because now we have archaeological proofs and tons of it, thanks to the greatest rescue-excavations feat ever carried out in the Zisha Hu world that before this not even a single archaeologically excavated Hui Meng Chen Pot existed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Ren Fu Collection’s awesome collection of excavated Hui Meng Chen Pots with archaeological records and of which about 50% of all Ren Fu Collection excavated Zisha Hus consist of Meng Chen Zhuni Copies and a very likely real Hui Meng Chen Pot.( we have a lot of high grade exquisite Meng Chen Zhuni Hus but we think they are Old Copies).
Now here is the way a clever person like my boss who is retired but a very mathematical and scientific person with a Master Degree and who dislike guess works, looks at the puzzle or mystery of Hui Meng Chen?
You can solved the puzzle in two ways: chronological or reverse chronology. Chronological is the development of historical events until the modern day. Reverse chronology is going backwards in historical events just like in reverse engineering where China buys a super-advance aircraft from America and tears it apart to learn how the Americans made the aircraft and then the Chinese make a copy of the plane.(very smart Chinese) Reverse chronology is a clever way to solve a complicated problem or puzzle by looking and analyzing history backwards and therefore it can be used to solve some questions about Hui Meng Chen like for example we know that Zhou GaoQi did not mention Hui Meng Chen in his book titled An Account of YangXian Teapots because( using reverse chronology) Hui Meng Chen made Pots like the Pot in the Victoria and Albert Museum which is a Tianqi 7th Year Reign copy of Shi DaBin’s High Lantern-shaped Pot and which did not impressed Zhou GaoQi and that was why Zhou GaoQi did not include Hui Meng Chen’s name in his book.
Now we look at the second reverse chronology method: we know that Hui Meng Chen’s Late Ming Pots did not impress Zhou GaoQi or the tea drinking community because his Late Ming Pots did not impress anybody. Now we look at the Late Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qian Long, Jiaqing and Daoguang period and about 50% of all excavated Zisha Hus are small Meng Chen Zhuni Copies and most of the Gong Fu tea set included Small Meng Chen Zhuni Pots indicating an awesome and different image of Hui Meng Chen as the most famous, most popular and most worshipped Old Master Potter of all times.( even until today Meng Chen,s name is the most famous, most popular and most worshipped).
Why? What did Hui Meng Chen do to merit such awesome acclaim? The Pots he made in Late Ming were boring and unimpressive copycats that even the famous Late Zisha Hu historian Zhou GaoQi did not see fit to mention in his book, “ An Account of YangXian Teapots”.
So eureka!, it must be the Pots Hui Meng Chen made after Zhou GaoQi died in 1646(Shunzhi 2nd Year Reign) and who therefore did not see the revolutionary Pots Hui Meng Chen made and the revolutionary Pots must be small Zhuni Pots like, one of which is, the Ren Fu Collection Shunzhi Pot No:387.
And there are more reverse chronology proofs found in Ren Fu Collection’s awesome archaeological materials, data and discoveries which we will go into later that indicate Hui Meng Chen is possibly the greatest Old Master Potter of all times. For a better understanding and more detailed analysis, we break the study and research into eight parts:
- Chronological events
- Development of Tea Culture
- John Ng’s Evolution of the Shi DaBin High Lantern-shaped Zisha Hu
- Archaeological proofs .
- Reverse chronology.
- Chronological chart
- Something about Hui Meng Chen, Jingdezhen and Emperor Qian Long
与时大彬不同的是，他有7个考古发掘的时大彬壶（发现于中国大陆），人们知道一个真正的晚明时大彬紫砂壶是什么样子，在伦敦维多利亚和阿尔伯特博物馆（Victoria and Albert Museum，London）只有一个有记录的壶，这是一个晚明天启七年的惠孟臣紫砂壶。除了在充满猜谜的紫砂壶世界里，没有人真正知道，也没有人知道惠孟臣的事……直到现在，惠孟臣的一切都不对！