online gallery 2: "Taiwan Crafts Spectrum" -- Lacquerware
Lacquerware is an ancient craft originated in China. Ancient Chinese employed lacquer to protect and decorate utensils. Because the lacquer trees mostly grew in Asia, lacquer arts became a craft with distinctive Asian characteristics.
During the Japanese occupation period, the Taiwanese lacquerware bloomed into mass production and demonstrated its unique style. However, lacquer making is an exquisite craft, demanding labor force and time. Under the industrialization trend, the lacquer crafts gradually disappeared from modern life.
Through opening classes, organizing expositions and implementing innovative development projects, the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute (NTCRI) plays an important role as public sector in protecting and promoting the traditional crafts. Reviving lacquer art by combining lacquer with wood and bamboo materials, metalsmithing techniques, and fiber art have all helped the age-old crafts to receive the international acclaims.