Vietnamese lacquer paintings on display in Urasoe

Three cats

A unique southeast Asian lacquer art is the focus of an exhibition by 27 artisans running through November 18th at the Urasoe Art Museum.

Admission is free to the Vietnam Lacquer Painting Exhibition, which introduces produces by the lacquer painters showing even plates and bowls, which are known here in Okinawa as Ryukyu Shikki.  The technique’s the same, as are the materials used for lacquer painting.  Urasoe Art Museum says the exhibition introduces a variety of directions in lacquer painting.

Dancing girl

Lacquer art is a famous ancient Vietnamese trade, with lacquer ware paintings with mother of pearl and seashell inlay being Vietnamese specialties.  The lacquers are made from a variety of materials, including inlaid mother of pearl, inlaid egg shells, golden leaves and silver dust.  Mother of pearl lacquer sometimes has just the pearl white color, which also can change to other colors depending on the lighting.  Under sunlight, the material gives off stunning rainbow colors.

Lacquer paintings are made with traditional methods and materials, including the lacquer paint, gold leaf, gold dust, egg shells.  Mother of pearl is inlaid beautifully on wood, using themes such as beautiful women transforming into fantasies with flowers, waters, cranes, animals, the sun, birds and creative waves.  Stylish lacquer works are circulating around the world with women with different colors, outfits and accessories, all in beautiful picture form.  The paintings are great for home decor with their square shapes, artistic lines and vivid colors.

The museum’s open daily 9:30 a.m. ~ 5 p.m., except Fridays, when it remains open to 7 p.m.  The museum is closed on Mondays and holidays.