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.
An art exhibition and online symposium on Southeast Asian urushi lacquer art was held at the museum gallery of Tokyo University of the Arts.
Dates: 24 September (Sat) – 4 October (Tue)
Video Interview “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 discuss the Project’s accomplishments and future goals.
“Kintsugi - Connecting people to people through urushi”, Irahara Mitsumi
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.
Vietnamese Lacquer, Merging West within East
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Program in Cambodia
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort, Stocker Studio, Siem Reap
The Cambodian program is the Project’s largest with over 100 participants from 14 Asian and European nations. There are 76 artworks were exhibited at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort Hotel and at the Angkor Artworks studio. Displayed is a diverse selection of contemporary art from around Asia and the World linked by the use and love of this marvelous material – lacquer.
Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Program in Myanmar
Lacquerware Technology College
“The Allure of Lacquer”, MYANM/ART, Yangon
The Bagan Program was organized in partnership with the Lacquerware Technology College, the Myanmar Lacquerware Association, and Tokyo University of the Arts. Over 70 lacquer artworks were exhibited. In addition, there were lectures by lacquer experts and workshops on Myanmar lacquer techniques as well as study tours to lacquerware studios and shops in the Bagan area. Artists, educators and researchers from 10 Asian nations as well as several from Europe and USA participated.
The Yangon Program was a collaboration between ALCEP and the Japan Foundation in Bangkok. Lacquer artists and artisans from Myanmar, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia exhibited their art and discussed the state of the lacquer arts in their nations.
Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Program in Hanoi
The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
Lacquer artworks from Vietnam and other East and Southeast Asian nations as well as from the UK, and USA were displayed. The exhibition and symposium included a poster session on aspects of lacquer arts, history and culture. Fifty artists exhibited, showcasing a wide variety of contemporary lacquer art using diverse designs and techniques. Text panels explained the current state of lacquer arts and crafts in each country. The lectures at the museum were on lacquer technique, science, and culture. The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange was the venue for demonstrations and workshops by artists and artisans from Vietnam, Japan, and Myanmar.
Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Program in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai University Art Center
The workshops by Thai and Japanese artists introduced and demonstrated lacquer techniques, while the lectures discussed the current state of lacquer crafts, art, and education in each nation. There was also a study tour to local lacquerware and woodworking communities. Lacquer experts from Thailand, Japan, and other East and Southeast Asian nations participated. More than 100 artworks by 50 artists were exhibited. There were more than 2,000 visitors over the 10 days.
1-11 September, 2018, Siem Reap, Cambodia Program
Download Report (1.6MB)
9 September, 2017, Yangon, Myanmar Program
Download Report (1.6MB)
2-4 September, 2017, Bagan, Myanmar Program
Download Report (4MB)
19-28 August, 2016, Hanoi, Vietnam Program
Download Report (2.6MB)
18-28 February, 2016, Chiang Mai, Thailand Program
Download Report (2.1MB)
29-30 August, 2015, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Seminar and Discussions
10-13 September, 2014 Bagan Myanmar Program
Report about the Hanoi Program, by VTV News, August 2016
Report about the Cambodia Program, by TV5 Cambodia, September 2018