The entrepreneurial spirit of my wife took us Saturday to Binh Duong, one of the outlying districts of the city to the north-west. The urban density of HCM slowly fades away yet civilization clings grimly to the highway through the heart of what is the production center of the region. Factories with their mysterious hanger like buildings line the road. It was off the highway and down a dirt track that we found the factory we were heading for - a business producing lacquerware. Lacquerware has been known to the Chinese since around 500BC. It is created layer after layer and treated around nine times. A medium sized piece takes around 4-6 weeks, others longer.
Arriving at the commune, a ramshackle group of buildings were swarming with activity, a cluttered factory area crudely attached to a house, with a courtyard also housing lots of preparation.
Unfinished vases wait to be painted: