May 25 – September 7, 2014
Curator: Michael Schuster
Installation: Lynne Najita
Artist-in-Residence: Suzanne Ross
Consultants: Suzanne Ross, Yoshihisa Oka (President, Nosaku Lacquerware Co., LTD)
Lacquer—glossy, durable, resistant to water and heat, has been used in Asia for more than 7,000 years. Artisans have created an extraordinary range of items using this sap from trees to cover wood, bamboo,metal, and ceramics. Utensils, bowls, water carriers, paintings, ritual items, objets d’art, boxes, containers, furniture, toys, building interiors, jewelry— the range is vast and the techniques multiple. Lacquer comes from the sap of trees from the cashew and sumac family. These trees are cultivated in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. East Asian lacquer is traditionally obtained from the Chinese lacquer tree, Toxicodendron vernicifluum, while in Southeast Asia, the Burmese lacquer tree, Gluta usitata, is the most widely cultivated.