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Old art takes center stage at cross-strait exhibition

Lacquer art is now stepping into the spotlight with an exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in the capital, giving it a chance to shine. The exhibition also tells the exchange of lacquer culture on both sides of the Strait.

The Cross-Strait Lacquer Art Exhibition brings together the best of Chinese lacquer art.

It showcases 280 artworks, selected from more than 1,800 pieces, created by over 1,500 artists from both sides of the Strait. The exhibits reflect the changing styles and tastes of successive generations of artists, who produced designs drawn from every element of life.

From lacquer wares and paintings, to installations and even daily utensils, the exhibition reveals the versatility of lacquer as an art medium.

“As a distinct oriental culture, lacquer art conveys a tranquil and mild artistic conception. And it is an open and inclusive art. Here you can see that lacquer can be used to create anything of enduring beauty,” said Tang Zhiyi, professor/lacquer artist of Fujian Normal University.

To strengthen traditional cultural inheritance and preservation, as well as to promote cross-strait lacquer art innovation, artists from Taiwan are heavily featured at the exhibition, including paintings by some of the island’s biggest names.

“It’s the first time that so many lacquer art by Taiwan artists are showcased on the mainland along with the best lacquer pieces from the mainland. So it’s a great opportunity for artists from both sides of the strait to learn from each other and to explore more in this field,” said Sheu Kuen-Cheng, professor/lacquer artist of Taiwan Chinese Culture University.

The exhibition is sponsored by the China Artists Association and the Cultural Department of Fujian province. It aims to take Chinese lacquer art to a wider audience.

“Lacquer art has a history of more than 7 thousand years in China. But compared with other traditions, it is lesser known among people. I hope through this exhibition, people can take another look and understand the old lacquer culture,” said Wu Weishan, curator of National Art Museum of China.

There is also a workshop and a forum themed “Lacquer and Art, Lacquer and Life”.

The Cross-strait Lacquer Art Exhibition is at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, it’s admission free and runs till December 11th.