Seal for Great Cultural Renaissance Title, Great Cultural Renaissance
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Nearly Lost Arts

Chinese Lacquer Painting

The letter 'F'or hundreds of years all over the world, the rich and elite supported a class of fine artisans to create and develop beautiful handcrafted decorations for their mansions and palaces. In all the political and economic changes of the last hundred years the conditions which allowed these crafts to develop changed, as the focus shifted to producing mass market goods cheaply.

The results is not only that these crafts are hard to find, but the skills to create them are dying off with the older generations. Soon many will be available only as rare, expensive antiques.

Having lived in China for many years, we use our contacts to find some of the remaining Chinese artists who create these disappearing crafts. Marketing these works of art overseas provides the artists with a good income, young people with an incentive to study the techniques from the masters before they are lost, and appreciative people worldwide the opportunity to collect these beautiful and rare items.

Currently we have artists making two kinds of lacquer boxes. One type is called xipiqi, which can be translated as "rhino skin lacquer". The other is called yundiao , or "cloud carving" lacquer. Follow the links on the left for descriptions and photos of them.

Many of the photos on our site will magnify if you click on them to give a better look at the workmanship of the items. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, some may take an interval to download completely. Please be patient.

For reuse of any of the photos on the site please visit our acknowledgments page.