Zhu Legeng's Nirvana sub-collection of The Chinese Ox series features a sharp-horned white ox standing amid debris. [Photo provided to China Daily] Zhu Legeng explores ceramics as art to convey the Chinese spirit. He has created and researched art for over 30 years and serves as the dean of the Chinese National Academy of Arts' Literature and Art Creation Research Institute. "As a representative figure of modern Chinese ceramics, Zhu is working on shifting ceramics from functionality to artistry and using artistic means to enhance practical qualities, so that ceramics' usefulness and innovation will unify in new ways in the modern cultural context," says Central Academy of Fine Arts' dean Fan Di'an. Zhu was born in Jiangxi province's Jingdezhen, a city known as "the capital of ceramics", in 1952. His father was a ceramicist and inspired Zhu's interest in the medium when he was a boy.