Colored lacquer with gold paint is an endangered traditional Chinese craft dating back to Hemudu culture more than 7,000 years ago. At that time, people living in Southern China (mainly in Ningbo, Zhejiang) foliated and ground gold and silver, and then added paints to color, trace or fill the patterns on the surface of woodwares. After that, they would elaborately decorate the woodwares with clamshells, mirrors and other materials to dress those wooden or bamboo wares up. During his diplomatic trip to Japan, Jianzhen, a Chinese monk in Tang Dynasty, took statues of Buddha, articles of daily use and other lacquer decorations, which were all made with the craft of colored lacquer with gold paint, from Ningbo, significantly influencing the development of folk lacquer art in Japan. As people’s concepts and habits of life keep changing, colored lacquer with gold paint is no longer a necessity in daily life. It has disappeared in common peasant families. Inevitably, this traditional craft is now in bad need of protection and inheritance. This book systematically sorts out the history, development, techniques, representative inheritors and representative works of this craft with illustrations, making great contribution to protecting and popularizing it.
Jiang Ya, research scholar on lacquer art. Published works include Introduction of Chinese Lacquer Art and The Development History of Chinese and Foreign Art Comparison.