During the Neolithic period, the Chinese used a resin extracted from the lacquer tree to waterproof the wood, especially for burials, and to make some ritual objects.
Subsequently, the use of this resin became widespread and is found in the manufacture of everyday objects such as dishes and in the decoration of furniture, cabinets and screens.
Gradually, the art of lacquerware spread to the countries of Southeast Asia and Japan.
Chinese craftsmen enjoy working with lacquer in different ways and discover new techniques to produce works that are increasingly finely crafted. By superimposing layers of lacquer, they manage to sculpt it according to the “guri” technique, to incorporate pigments, gold or silver powder or to inlay small elements in particular in mother-of-pearl, gold and ivory to give relief to the decoration.
In its natural state, the lacquer is greyish-white, which gradually turns to dark brown as it dries and hardens. To keep its transparency, users filter the resin and remove the water it contains by heating it.See more