World heritage tag may provide fillip to Bagan lacquerware, say businesses

With the ancient city of Bagan having been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, traditional lacquerware businesses in the area will get the opportunity to attract the interest of international buyers, said U Maung Maung, who owns a Pyittinehaung Myanmar traditional lacquerware business.

The art of making lacquerware emerged in Myanmar in the 12th and 13th century A.D., during King Anawrahtar’s reign, and now, Bagan is well-known for its lacquerware. While the tangible arts of Bagan can be seen at the ancient temples, lacquerware count among the region’s intangible arts, with most visitors observing the traditional art and buying lacquerware as souvenirs, he said.

“More visitors are thronging to Bagan after it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Bagan’s traditional lacquerware products are expected to penetrate the global market and draw foreigners’ attention. With tourism business flourishing in Bagan, lacquerware artisans are hoping to develop their businesses,” said U Maung Maung.

Currently, lacquerware are mostly produced the traditional way. But, local artisans have begun introducing innovations with the help of ASEAN lacquerware artisans to boost the traditional lacquerware sector. — Min Htet Aung (Mandalay sub-printing house)
(Translated by La Wonn)