As one of the world's oldest civilizations, China has accumulated a rich cultural heritage which has influenced other cultures across the world. Traditional styles and practices of visual art have been preserved over thousands of years by the nation; one of the focal points of the country's visual culture is ceramics. Few other cultures have demonstrated more innovation, craftsmanship and design in this art form than the Chinese. One of the most important periods for pottery was the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368-1644), as well as the invention of porcelain prior to this some 2,000 years ago. The Chinese have also pioneered the practice of ink painting on paper or silk, often depicting glorious landscapes. In more recent times, artists have begun to move away from traditional styles and embraced modern art media, such as film, photography and performance. Both contemporary and antique Chinese art has become highly-coveted on the art market.

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