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A special exhibition presenting 80 lacquer artworks kicked off on May 31 in Taipei. Titled "Ethereal Splendor: Lacquerware from the Collection of the National Museum of History,” the 3-month display is divided into sections in accordance with the different techniques and decorative patterns adopted by ancient Chinese craftsmen.
The applications of lacquer have been refined in imperial China for more than 7,000 years. Various techniques - some involving carving before coating, while others involve carving between layers - have given rise to different aesthetics and forms. Moreover, the liberal use of mother-of-pearl inlays has contributed to the incredible sheen and glossy appearance of these antiques.
Through the delicate handiwork presented by the exhibition, visitors can also glean long-lasting Chinese symbols of prosperity and harmony. Decorative patterns such as flowers, birds, clouds and dragons are all derived from traditional folklore and their way of life.
The event organizers hope for visitors to enjoy the superb craftsmanship embodied by such lacquerware pieces and to reflect upon the social, cultural and artistic developments embodied by these spectacular artifacts.
"Ethereal Splendor” will remain open to the public until Sept. 8, 2013. For more information, please visit the event website here.