Lacquerware

The Lacquer Arts of China and the Ryukyu Kingdom
January 2, 2022 - February 6, 2022

Chinese lacquers have long been admired and sought out by Japanese collectors. Imported by Buddhist monks and traders throughout the medieval period, they were collected by the Muromachi shoguns to be displayed as luxurious "Chinese objects," or karamono. The popularity of karamono lacquerware from the Edo period onward was largely driven by their use for display in chanoyu tea rooms. Chinese lacquer appealed to collectors' tastes for the foreign and exotic. Decorative wares of the Ryūkyū Kingdom were also popular items for gift exchange between daimyo of the early modern period. The works collected here exemplify a variety of techniques employed by Chinese and Ryūkyū craftsmen.

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