Tradition can give rise to innovation: the way things are (or used to be) has often inspired makers to rethink craft techniques. One trailblazer in the field of lacquer art is Korean artist Park Sung-youl, who will be showcasing his Bonyeon series virtually at Collect art fair this year with Lloyd Choi Gallery.
Lacquerware craft typically involves varnishing an existing form (in wood or steel, for example) with lacquer. Instead, Park has developed a unique process that involves stretching lacquer to become the artwork itself. ‘Lacquer has so many different characteristics,’ says Park, a 2020 Loewe Craft Prize finalist. ‘It is adhesive and malleable. I focused on the flexibility and elasticity of lacquer and stretched it like a long string.’