Nguyen Van Hai – Traditional Lacquer Painting

Apart from a relatively small circle of connoisseurs the genre of lacquer paintings is not well known outside Vietnam. Lacquer is a particular type of paint, and is used both raw and after various degrees of processing. Although the artist applies the lacquer paint with a brush, the essence of the lacquer painting depends upon the artist`s skill in rubbing or burnishing the lacquer to reveal the image beneath. Lacquer is a difficult and time-consuming medium and to turn out a single painting may require years of work. Simply to prepare the board takes from one to one and a half months. The successful lacquer artist must not only be skilled in drawing but also have a high level of technical skill in lacquer processing. Thus considerable skill and experience is needed to produce a painting that conveys a sense of spontaneity, live-line working  and movement.



  • Article: Lacquer Artists of Vietnam by Kerry Nguyen Long