Natural Lacquer Arts

“Korea’s Brilliant Art – All Natural Lacquer” Documentary

Korea’s Brilliant Art – All Natural Lacquer is an international documentary that features the work of artisans striving to maintain natural beauty in contemporary Korean society. The artistic process of applying refined tree sap to objects, in order to make them more durable, spread throughout Asia thousands of years ago. Over the centuries, Korean artists have developed unique methods for adding shell inlay designs to beautify items. Today, artists preserve the techniques and values of the past, while also striving to enrich our lives in the future, with the beauty of Korean Najeon (mother-of-pearl inlay) lacquer.

This first and only documentary produced in English about Korea’s lacquer arts highlights four important lacquer artisans designated as “Intangible Cultural Property” and demonstrates the past and future of this amazing art form.

  • You’ll travel to the beautiful countryside and the bustling cities in search of lacquer.
  • Meet dedicated apprentices to the master artisans.
  • Discover the health benefits of using natural lacquer for everyday items.
  • See students adapt old techniques for revolutionary designs.
  • Learn the special techniques used by museums to preserve lacquer objects.
  • Experience Korean culture in this short documentary: a world of elegance, complex artistry, and scientific achievements.

Sample Footage & Introduction


  • Language: English (voice-over), Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All
  • Run Time: 36 minutes

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