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Workshop: Unearthing Lotus Flower – Sanding and Polishing a Vietnamese Sơn Mài Painting

22 Jul 2018, Sun 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM
The Seminar Room, Block 43 Malan Road

Workshop fee: S$35
Please register via Peatix:

*Developed for participants aged 13 and above.

As the name Sơn Mài (meaning “lacquer” and “sanding,” respectively) indicates, sanding is integral and the most exciting process of the art form. Artists use a sanding process not only to acquire smooth surfaces but also to create dramatic effects on their works. Practitioners first apply complex layers of lacquer with different colours and textures, using a variety of materials; then, the surface is sanded to bring the underlining layers back to the surface. This workshop includes an introduction to the history, science, and technique of Sơn Mài. A short video will help simulate the lengthy process of lacquer application. Finally, participants will enjoy unearthing and polishing a beautiful lotus painting.



Saeko Ando (Japan/Vietnam) studied Japanese art and philosophy at Waseda University in Tokyo. In 1995, she moved to Vietnam to learn lacquer art under the tutelage of Trinh Tuan, Doan Chi Trung, Nguyen Huy Hoan, and Lam Huu Chinh. Her practice integrates the traditional with the contemporary through an innovative use of Vietnamese lacquer techniques. Ando’s eccentric style earned the respect of Vietnam’s art society, and she was the first foreign member to be invited to the Hanoi Art Association in 2000. She has exhibited extensively in Vietnam and internationally, and regularly presents her research on lacquer arts from Vietnam, Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan in conventions and symposiums.


Image credit: Saeko Ando, Devil Fruit. Courtesy the artist.