September 2022, “Urushi Forms and Hope – Lacquer Art in Southeast Asia” – an exhibition on Southeast Asian urushi lacquer art to be held at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Chinretsukan Gallery. This is the first exhibition of Southeast Asian urushi art to be held in Japan.
Concurrent with the exhibition, there will be a video Interviews, Overview Techniques & Archive to inform the public about the current state and future of lacquer art and culture in Southeast Asia.



Lacquer arts, crafts and industry are deeply embedded in Japanese and Southeast Asian history and culture. In both regions lacquer has been widely used to make tableware and furniture as well as the Buddhist images and ceremonial adornments for temples. Trade also flourished. Kinma lacquerware from Thailand and Myanmar, for example, first reached Japan centuries ago. This trade strengthened contact between societies. Asian lacquer cultures rooted in religious faith and attachment to nature continued to develop over the centuries. Today in the modern era, the flourishing of lacquer art has created remarkably alluring object art and painting.
However, the hurried pace of industrialization and modern life has caused massive environmental damage. Pollution of chemical and plastic waste threatens the future of our planet. In contrast, lacquer is a natural product and lacquer crafts a meditative art. Working with natural lacquer requires a high degree of skill and artistry using techniques developed over centuries. It is our hope that the public will appreciate and admire not only the beauty and diversity of lacquer arts but also, in these troubled and stressful times, note the serenity and patience with which this art is made and its nexus between tradition and modernity.
While showcasing the possibilities and excellence of Southeast Asian lacquer arts and culture, we hope that the event will also help deepen mutual understanding and peace between all nations and peoples.
24 September (Sat) – 4 October (Tue) 
9:30-17:30(Last entry 17:00)
Artist talks: 25 September 14:30~, 2 October 14:30~
Due to COVID regulations, capacity controls may be imposed to avoid over-crowding.
1F, Chinretsukan Gallery, the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts 
Admission: Free
1) Exhibition, 2)Video Interviews, Overview of Techniques and Archive, 
the Asian Lacquer Crafts Exchange Research Project Executive Committee, and the Urushi Arts Department of Tokyo University of the Arts
Financial Support: 
Nomura Foundation, Union Foundation for Ergodesign for Culture, Pola Art Foundation, The Kao Foundation for Arts and Science, The Satoh Artcraft Research & Scholarship, Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research Foundation, Japan Arts Council
Support: The Japan Foundation
Contact us:

Vanana(lightning), Noda Ryoma, public collection: Kanazawa Utatsuyama Craft Workshop




Myanmar lacquerware
Veronica Gritsenko lacquer work (detail)
DechaTiengkate (detail)
Sha sha Higby (detail)

U Mu Lin Ta Shan Lacquerware U Mu Lin Ta Shan Lacquerware Nguyen Tuan Cuong Nguyen Tuan Cuong Chan Thar Thu Do Duc Khai Do Duc Khai Rush Pleansuk Rush Pleansuk Nguyen Tran Cuong Nguyen Tran Cuong Neti Pikroh Neti Pikroh Nhat Tran Nhat Tran Kaittisak Chaimuangchuen Kaittisak Chaimuangchuen Inle Lacquerware, Shan State Inle Lacquerware, Shan State Manop Wongnoi Design : Ratthee Phaisanchotsiri Manop Wongnoi Design : Ratthee Phaisanchotsiri Mani Lacquerware Mani Lacquerware Stocker Studio Stocker Studio Golden Cuckoo Kurimoto Natsuki Kurimoto Natsuki



70 lacquer works from the Southeast Asian lacquer nations – Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, and lacquer works by Japanese and other artists influenced by Southeast Asian art and culture
20 examples of traditional lacquerware from Bagan, Myanmar's largest lacquerware center, and from the Shan State
U Maung Maung (Ever Stand) / Daw Maw Maw (Bagan House) / U Myint Khaing (Lacquerware Technology College) / Myat Mon / Golden Cuckoo / U Ba Nyien / Chan Thar Thu / U Mu Lin Ta, and other lacquerware workshops.
14 Thai artists who make traditional and contemporary lacquer works
Decha Tiengkate / Jukkit Suksawat / Kaittisak Chaimuangchuen / Lipikorn Makaew / Manop Wongnoi (Ratthee Phaisanchotsiri) / Narongdet Dokkeaw / Neti Pikroh / Phumrapee Kongrit / Rush Pleansuk / Siwakorn Sirikarnjanaroj / Sumanatsya Voharn / Thepee Phuchan / Tipawan Thungmhungmee / Vichaikul Lacquerware Chiang Mai 

9 lacquer painting 'son mai' artists from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh
Cong Kim Hoa / Do Duc Khai / Doan Thuy Hanh / Nguyen Minh Quang / Nguyen Tran Cuong / Nguyen Tuan Cuong / Tran Dinh Khuong / Trinh Tuan

Traditional Lao lacquerware by Mani Lacquerware studio in Luang Prabang

Lacquerware from Stocker Studio in Siem Reap, which is reviving natural lacquer use in Cambodia

International artits
Lacquerware, painting and object art by Japanese and other artists influenced by Southeast Asian culture.
Ando Saeko (Japan/Vietnam) / Inami Jun (Japan) / Kurimoto Natsuki (Japan) / Takahashi Kayo (Japan) / Noda Ryoma (Japan) / Sha Sha Higby (USA) / Nhat Tran (Vietnam/USA) / Eric Stocker (France/Cambodia) /
Marie-Dominique Boneu Hyman (France/Laos) / Veronica Gritsenko (Ukraine/Myanmar)


Related Events

There is a series of video events continuously screened during the exhibition. The videos and other materials will also be posted online.
– Current and Future of Lacquer Arts and Crafts –
Ten years of exchange programs: What have we learned? The future of urushi arts & culture. Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Research Project members will talk the Project’s accomplishments and future goals.
U Maung Maung –- Everstand Lacquerware Workshop, Myanmar
Sumanatsya Voharn –- Assistant Professor, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Trinh Tuan –- Son Mai Lacquer Artist, Vietnam

Overview of Techniques
Myanmar lacquer coating and kanyit technique –- U Maung Maung, Everstand Lacquerware Workshop, Bagan
Thai Lai Lod Nam gold leaf technique –- Lipikorn Makaew, Artist, Associate Professor, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Mai
Vietnamese Son Mai painting technique –- Nguyen Tuan Cuong, Chief Lecturer, Hanoi Crafts School
Special Demonstration: “Kintsugi technique - Connecting people to people through urushi”, Irahara Mitsumi, urushi artist, Japan
Video Archive
”The Current State of Lacquer Craft and Art in Thailand”
”The Story of Vietnamese Lacquer”
”Lacquer Research in Asia through Exchange Programs”
Please check our website for information on additional events.



During this pause in our lives and in the Project’s programs, we have decided to create a video archive of the current state of lacquer arts and crafts in Southeast Asia. We are beginning with Thailand and Vietnam.  More detailed video archive will be posted regularly.

Video Interview “Current and Future of Lacquer Arts and Crafts”
ビデオインタビュー “アジア各地の漆工芸の現状と未来へ”
Ten years of exchange programs: What have we learned? The future of urushi arts & culture. Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Research Project members discuss the Project’s accomplishments and future goals.
Watch Video!

“Kintsugi - Connecting people to people through urushi”, Irahara Mitsumi
"漆で繋がる日本の金繕い" いらはらみつみ
Kintsugi, a method of repairing and beautifying broken ceramics, has become popular around the world. Irahara Mitsumi demonstrates the steps in the process while explaining the importance of kinstugi in Japanese culture.
Watch Video!

Vietnamese Lacquer, Merging West within East
ベトナムの漆文化, 東西の融合
Modern Son Mai painting techniques discussed and demonstrated by Nguyen Tuan Cuong and Hanoi artists. It introduces the history of Son Mai painting, its process techniques, and how Son Mai painting is an affirmation of their identity as they enter the culture of modern times.
Watch Video!

Thai Gold Leaf Technique - Lai Rod Nam
タイの箔絵 ー ライ ロット ナム
Thai Rai Rod Nam gold leaf technique by Lipikorn Makaew, artist, Associate Professor, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Mai. 
Watch Video!

Myanmar Lacquer Techniques - Coating, Kanyit and Shwezawa
ミャンマーの漆工芸 - 塗り・蒟醤・箔絵
U Maung Maung demonstrates and explains the steps in the Bagan. lacquerware process, including substrate preparation, coating and etching, pigments, polishing, and gilding.  U Maung Maung, is Chairman of the Myanmar Lacquerware Association, and owner of Everstand Lacquerware Workshop.
Watch Video!

Story of Vietnamese Lacquer
We are creating a video archive of the current state of lacquer arts and crafts in Southeast Asia.  This is “Story of Vietnamese Lacquer”!  This archive was produced by Trinh Tuan and created with the help of Asia Art Link. 
Watch Video!

Current State of Asian Lacquer Craft and Culture - Thailand
We are creating a video archive of the current state of lacquer arts and crafts in Southeast Asia. This is a collage of shots from the video archive that Sumanatsya Voharn (Jib) at Chiang Mai University is creating. 
Watch Video!


About us

Lacquer arts is an important Asian cultural heritage. The purpose of the Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Project is to promote natural lacquer arts, crafts, industry, and education throughout Asia. We do this by bringing artists, artisans, educators, and scientists together for seminars, workshops, and art exhibitions. The Project began when members first visited the Bagan Lacquerware Technology College in 2003. Beginning in 2005, yearly workshops and lectures were held by Japanese lacquer experts and artists in order to introduce lacquer art and techniques to the faculty and students of the College and to the Bagan lacquer community as a whole. In 2014 an International Art Exhibition was added to the Program. Since 2016, Programs have been held in Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Bagan, Yangon, and Siem Reap.
More details about our project, please visit Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Research Project Webpage.   ALCERP Webpage