This edition: Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer
First aired: November 28, 2017.
“Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century,” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores thousands of years of the Chinese lacquer art tradition. The film shows many art pieces originally created as birthday gifts, with peaches and pine trees representing longevity; melon and pomegranate as the bounty of children and family prosperity; and dragons as symbols of emperors and their power. The largest piece shown is a rare 19th Century screen, illustrating the birthday party of a Chinese legend, Guo Ziyi, with each of the more than 40 guests vividly carved. Cinnabar as a pigment, a medicine, and a poison is also explained and clarified.
Pengliang Lu Henry A. Kissinger Curatorial Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asian Art Deptartment