Marie-Laure Buku Pongo

Where in the World? Lacquer

video still of lacquer cabinet depicting four men

Marie-Laure Buku Pongo, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, joins Curator Aimee Ng to investigate two cross-cultural cabinets from the 1760s. The pair of cabinets combines French materials and craft with elements made a century earlier and oceans away—eight sumptuous black-and-gold lacquer panels taken from imported Japanese objects. A traditional Asian art form, lacquerware was made through a time-consuming and dangerous process, and the mysteries that Japan held in Europe enhanced the material’s popularity in fashionable French furniture.