Lacquer-ware, objects covered with decorative lacquer, is one of the intangible cultural heritages of Yangzhou, and originated from the imperial desire for more wealth and greater power.
Jiangdu, a subordinate district of Yangzhou, has inherited the ancient techniques and created its own style of lacquer painting. It has also integrated many artistic genres, such as ink painting and oil painting.
In recent years, the art was enlivened as craftsmen broke the tradition of working only on wooden objects and created innovative techniques so the paintings could be scrolled as easily as those designed on paper.
Jin Guiqing, a local lacquer painting master, was among a group of artists who have contributed to revitalizing the art form. He made scrolling lacquer paintings possible as he creatively mixed daqi (Chinese lacquer) and dianluo (a traditional technique of coating natural seashells onto lacquer). The painting can be rolled over 10,000 times.
Jin said that, unlike normal lacquer paintings, the "flexible" type focuses more on the paintings' ornamental purpose and blends various genres together to bring the work to life.
Jin Guiqing displays his flexible lacquer painting Yangzhou Sanbadao, depicting a distinctive local culture. [Photo/yznews.cn]