Cinnabar Laquer – A Distinctly Chinese Artform

Seeing Red? Then it is entirely possible that you are looking at a beautifully carved cinnabar lacquer artwork. And if you are of the opinion that art and craftsmanship go hand-in-hand, then you might just consider these works the peak of artistic expression, for they takes weeks to complete.

a-19th-century-cinnabar-lacquer-vase
A 19th Century Cinnabar Lacquer Vase

The technique of carving this material consists of adding several layers of a lacquer mixture onto a substructure, such as a vase, dish or a box, which is then dried and subsequently carved. At this, boxes were originally used to offer presents to a host and predate our notion of gift wrapping.

In modern times, these pieces that are often hundreds of years old, have the capacity to add weight and colour to any interior.