Institute of Archaeology


A Technical Study on Chinese Lacquer Technology: Case Study of Coromandel Lacquer

12 December 2018, 6:10 pm

A technical study on Chinese Lacquer technology

Event Information

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Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Julie Chang (UCL) will give the next ICCHA China Night Seminar of 2018-19 at the UCL Institute of Archaeology on 12 December.

The seminar is entitled A Technical Study on Chinese Lacquer Technology: Case Study of Coromandel Lacquer and all are welcome to attend. No booking is required.


The production of Asian lacquer is a complicated process utilizing many techniques, component parts, and specific ingredients. This presentation aims to introduce an aspect of Asian lacquer technology with Coromandel lacquer being its focus. It will include highlights from the state-of-the-art analytical techniques applied during the author's PhD project. Coromandel lacquer is also known as kuancai and shenke in Chinese. It is a type of polychrome lacquer where designs carved into the smooth lacquer surface were filled with painted colours. The technique has a relatively short manufacturing history and limited written record. Most of its surviving examples are found in European collections. Interpretation of the data enriches our understanding of the manufacturing processes and the historic recipes of the time period.


Julie Chang is in her final year of PhD research at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Her research topic is "A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Chinese Lacquer Technology". She was a member of the Characterizing Asian Lacquer team at the Getty Conservation Institute. In addition, she was a member of the teaching team for the Recent Advances in Characterizing Asian Lacquer workshop at the Getty Conservation Institute (2012), Yale University (2013) and the Centre for Research and Restoration of Museums of France (2014). Julie also holds an MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums and an MA in Principles of Conservation. Her research interest involves the detection and identification of historical lacquer recipes.

Any enquiries about the event or work of the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA) may be directed to the Centre Administrator, Rui Pang.

China Night Research Seminar Series

Term I and II, 2018-2019 | Wednesday Evenings 6:10pm @ Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology, a joint association between the School for Archaeology and Museology of Peking University and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, is tasked with bringing China's cultural past to western scholars. Through its China Nights events and Guest Lecture Series, the Centre endeavours to promote all aspects of Chinese history and prehistory and strengthen academic links between China and Europe. In addition, the ICCHA regularly hosts world-class conferences, bridge the gap in archaeological thought and theory.