Traditional crafts reflect the needs of the people and represent the vitality of historical legacy, while the expression of decorative arts is more culturally stylish and distinctive. Among which, "lacquer art" is famous for its complicated process techniques and exquisite production, which has both practical and aesthetic values.
The Art Center of National Chung Hsing University has invited Ms. Huang Li-Shu, a national treasure of lacquer craftsmanship and a preserver of important traditional craftsmanship techniques, to present the exhibition "Lacquer Art: A Teacher and Students Exhibition of Lacquer Art by Ms. Huang Li-Shu". This exhibition will be held from May 19 to June 18, 2022, to showcase the heritage and innovation of Taiwanese craftsmanship through the thousand-year-old art of "lacquer".
Huang Li-Shu, born in 1949, graduated from the National Taiwan College of Fine Arts, and since 1977 has been working at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, where she has been studying a variety of lacquer techniques and has been involved in researching and investigating the history of lacquerware in Taiwan. After learning bamboo and rattan crafts from Master Huang Tu-Shan and lacquer art from Master Chen Huo-Qing, she also went to Japan to study lacquer art techniques and restoration at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and the Okinawa Craft Institute, and to Fujian to learn traditional Chinese lacquer techniques, rattan single spiral coiling from the indigenous people, and lacquer thread and gold leafing from traditional artisans. She is well versed in her skills and continues to create, which has enriched the depth and breadth of her future works and teaching.
Her works combine various media such as wood, bamboo, rattan, stone, and metal, conceptualizing topics from life experience and observing the surrounding environment with the keen nature of an artist, starting from tradition and incorporating new contemporary thinking. Her bamboo and lacquer creations have been awarded the first prize in the Province's Art Exhibition for three consecutive years, which allowed her work to receive a lifetime exemption from qualifiers. She has also received the silver award in the World Lacquer Design Competition in Ishikawa, Japan, and the third prize in Traditional Craft from the Cultural and Construction Association, making her a well-known figure around the world. In 2009, she established the “Lacquer Garden", which is dedicated to the creation and promotion of lacquer art, passing on her 35 years of lacquer art research to future generations.
This exhibition features 50 pieces of lacquer artworks, which exhibit techniques such as Maki-e, Qiang-jin, and Raden, showcasing the professionalism of Taiwan's contemporary lacquer art masters, as well as the inclusion of works of her students, recapturing the connection between art and "people" as well as the heritage and connotation of "culture" through the aesthetic display of "objects". In addition, natural lacquer is resistant to acid and alkali, heat, moisture, and corrosion, enabling them to be preserved for years and be one with earth, which meets modern people's pursuit of natural and environmentally friendly materials while opening up more possibilities for lacquer art. Every art lover is welcomed to enjoy this exhibition.