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Ancient lacquer craft preserved by Fuzhou artisan

By Hu Meidong and Zheng Caixiong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-04-22


Sun Manting, an inheritor of the centuries-old Fuzhou bodiless lacquerware craft, wants to pass down the tradition. [Photo by Chen Weikai/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A lacquer artisan in Fuzhou, Fujian province, hopes to carry forward the city's traditional technology and culture of bodiless lacquerware through persistence and innovation.

Sun Manting has published several books recording historical data, techniques, skills, processes and materials in the development of Fuzhou lacquerware while continuing to produce lacquerware objects. She wants to pass centuries-old techniques and skills to a younger generation.

"It is urgent to record the evolution of Fuzhou lacquer art in books because age does not allow me to accept students," Sun said.

She has witnessed the gradual departure of older artisans in recent years.

Fuzhou bodiless lacquerware tehniques have been passed down by oral tradition, but few written records exist. As a result, some skills have nearly vanished, she said.

Fuzhou's traditional bodiless lacquerware has a long history stretching to ancient China. The lacquerware, together with Beijing Cloisonne and Jiangxi Jingdezhen porcelain, are regarded as three treasures among Chinese traditional crafts.

In recent years, Sun has been making technical innovations to carry forward the traditional.

At the 2016 China Contemporary Arts and Crafts Biennale, Sun's "green treasure flash" bile bottle, was widely praised by experts and insiders and collected by the China National Arts and Crafts Museum.

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