Asian Lacquer Symposium 2013

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Buffalo State College
May 20 - 24, 2013 

Buffalo State College is hosting an International Lacquer symposium in May 2013. This is a collaborative effort between the Art Conservation Department, Design Department, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. This symposium will bring together international experts from multiple disciplines including artists, art historians, conservators, curators and scientists to gain a holistic view of the many facets of lacquer ware. The main goals of this symposium are to: Highlight lacquer as a living art; Feature historical lacquer by regions and cultures; Explore technical aspects of the craft through history; Discuss cultural differences in conservation approaches; Provide a venue for dissemination of recent scientific findings

The symposium will explore the ways in which historic and modern craftspeople and artists have used the lacquer to form functional and artistic objects.  A small display of contemporary and modern pieces with traditional and/or historic pieces from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan will exemplify the ways lacquer has been used through the centuries and the cultural significance of the medium. The traditional lacquer ware presents Asian aesthetics, craftsmanship, materials and tools, and the modern ware combines younger generational thought, modern aesthetic principles and Western influences. Showcasing these lacquer objects will allow attendees to appreciate and learn more of the art and craft of Asian lacquer. 

Symposium Topics

Issues of and variations in approaches to lacquer ware conservation and restoration will be presented and discussed. Discussion of cultural and aesthetic sensitivities, similarities and differences in conservation and restoration will expose all attendees to the variety of approaches being effected to preserve lacquer ware. To better understand these cultural and national perspectives, the symposium will include roundtable discussions, presentations and informal exchanges. This newfound cultural awareness should help future preservation efforts and conservation interventions.

In the past 20 years scientific research has shed light on many chemical and physical aspects of lacquers and lacquer ware. The chemical fingerprinting of the naturally occurring lacquer sources throughout Asia has been successfully used to identify trade routes and elucidate commerce of this valuable resource. Research on the identification, degradation and different technical processing of lacquers will be presented to complement the other artistic, conservation and historical components of the symposium.

They symposium will feature lectures and demonstrations by National Living Treasures from Asia. We will also feature lacquer artists, craftsmen, artisans, conservators, art historians, curators, and scientists as lecturers. Lectures and workshops will be given all five days of the conference and participants will have an opportunity to have local tours at Niagara Falls, The Darwin Martin House, Richardson Olmstead Complex, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Symposium Links:

Conference Program


Schedule of Speakers & Events

Travel Information & Accommodations

Buffalo Tours & Attractions

Official Announcement for the Symposium

Korean Art Society

Speaker Registration

If you have had an oral presentation accepted, you quaify for the reduced speaker registration rate of $495. To register, please download the Speaker Registration Form, fill it out and email the completed form to Abigail Choudhury, Education Coordinator at AIC and she will process your request. There is no online form for speakers to register. If you want to register for any other events such as the conference dinner or tours, please do so by visiting the official Lacquer Symposium Registration Page.

Generously sponsored by the American Institute for Conservation and the Korea Foundation

Art Conservation

Buffalo State  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Rockwell Hall 230
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5025  •  Fax: (716) 878-5039
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