Yu Ermei, and 86-year-old woman from Jingdezhen, Eastern China, has spent around $900,000 and five years of her life building a “palace” completely decorated with ceramic pieces. Most people consider her insane for spending so much time and money on this project, but she says that her life would be incomplete without it.
When Yu came up with the idea for her unique porcelain palace, six years ago, her family thought she had become senile, but she tried to explain that this was her life’s dream. Jingdezhen is considered “China’s porcelain capital” and having lived here since age 12, the woman wanted to leave something behind in honor of the city that had shaped her existence. She had worked in the ceramics business for most of her life, first as an apprentice in a porcelain workshop, then as a worker in two state-owned factories, before gaining enough experience to open her own kiln and porcelain factory, which ended up making her a sizable fortune. This palace would be her way of giving back to Jingdezhen and a tribute to ceramics.