An international crafts exhibition featuring enamel art by fifty artists from South Korea, the United States, and Taiwan will run in Taipei from May 20 through July 2.
Enamel is a traditional craft that involves firing powdered glass to fuse it with metal bodies. It is typically applied to jewelry, household items, ornaments, and art. Common techniques include cloisonné, champlevé, plique-à-jour, and painted enamel. Because of its heat-resistant, thermal-conductive, thermal-retentive, corrosion-resistant, and colorful properties, enamel is widely applied to tableware, cooking utensils, and bathroom items.
Humans have been using enamel for more than three thousand years. The earliest known archaeological record of its use was discovered in the Mediterranean region. Enamel techniques later spread to Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India. The craft reached China from Central Asia around the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and led to the height of cloisonné enamel in the Ming dynasty. In the second half of the twentieth century, during Taiwan’s economic boom, enamel products also became a major export.
Enameling requires sophisticated techniques and processes, some of which were once in danger of being lost. In early twentieth century, artists of the Art Nouveau movement brought enamel to another peak of prominence. The western world in the 1970s and 80s also saw a resurgence that led to a new age of enameling.
In Taiwan, although enamel is considered a major technique in traditional metalworking and was once a major industry, academic and creative interest and development had dwindled along with its industrial production. In the twenty-first century, enamel artists from the West visited Taiwan and brought new techniques and visions. After more than a decade of efforts, enamel art has regained popularity, especially among the younger generations.
The “2017 Contemporary Enamel Art Exhibition from Korea, the US and Taiwan” is Taiwan’s first large-scale international exhibition on contemporary enamel art. Featured in the exhibition are 50 artists from Taiwan, the US, and Korea, whose works combine tradition and innovation in terms of both form and techniques. Their subjects and ideas also demonstrate the rich diversity in today’s art world.
‘2017 Contemporary Enamel Art Exhibition’
- Date: May 20 – July 2, 2017
- Venue: NTCRI Taipei Branch
- Address: No. 41 Nanhai Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan (ROC)
- Site: http://taipei.ntcri.gov.tw/
- Enamel Forums: https://event.culture.tw