Beauty of Lacquer Art on Show at Exhibition in Hangzhou

ByLin Qi January 29, 2021
A Ming Dynasty black lacquer box on show [For China Daily]

 

China's long history of using natural lacquer to make daily objects more beautiful and durable is evident in the lacquer ware found in Neolithic relics in the country. Throughout centuries, the production of lacquer objects boomed to elevate the craft to a higher level of artistry.

An exhibition now on at the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in Hangzhou through Oct 23, 2022, reviews the glory of lacquer art in ancient China, showing some 87 fine objects in the museum collection dated between the Song (960-1279) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

A phoenix and peony lacquer box on show [For China Daily]

 

The show begins with a prosperous scene of lacquer making in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, two major production hubs in the Song era. By then, the industry had developed a variety of delicate carving and embellishing techniques for lacquer ware.

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) witnessed another height in lacquer making, when more manufacturing centers emerged in South China. And as the imperial capital was relocated to Beijing, the techniques were introduced to the northern region, and studios were established at the court to tailor lacquer objects for the ruling class.

The Qianlong Emperor of Qing is known for his extraordinary tastes in culture. During his reign, lacquer objects with sophisticated patterns became a glamorous spotlight of imperial art. Popular motifs on lacquer ware included clusters of flowers of various species and descriptions from literary classics, which hailed the leisurely lifestyle of scholars.

A Ming Dynasty lacquer decoration screen on show [For China Daily]

 

A Qing Dynasty lacquer box on show [For China Daily]

 

A Qing Dynasty lacquer Hulu vase on show [For China Daily]

 

Flowers are popular motifs in Qing lacquer art. [For China Daily]

 

Patterns that hail a leisure lifestyle of scholars and their high morality are popular motifs in Qing lacquer art. [For China Daily] 

 

Patterns that hail a leisure lifestyle of scholars and their high morality are popular motifs in Qing lacquer art. [For China Daily]

 

(Source: chinadaily.com.cn)

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