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Japanese Export Lacquer and Global Art History: An Art of Mediation in Circulation

  • Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann
Chapter

Abstract

Japanese export lacquer was enmeshed in a complex network of commercial and artistic relations. Raw materials were brought from Southeast Asia to Japan, where finished lacquerware was made for export. Japanese export lacquer adapted Chinese and Indian decorative techniques, as well as European designs for motifs, forms, and functions. Chinese or Ryukyuan junks along with Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch ships carried lacquer to places in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, where it was adopted and emulated. Lacquer thus provides a prime example of an art of mediation that involved Europeans and Asians in processes of circulation in the global history of art.

Keywords

Japan Lacquerware Inter-Asian trade Global trade Art history 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Art and ArchaeologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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