This June ALTFIELD GALLERY is presenting an exhibition featuring fine works of art from around South East Asia. Drawn primarily from Burma, Thailand and Cambodia the articles on display represent the fine work and skilled craftsmanship of the sculptors, carvers, silversmiths, lacquer workers, weavers and artists who worked in these regions in the late 18th to early 20th century. The exhibition is multi-media, with items made of stone, wood, lacquer, silver and silk all included and representative of all the key iconic arts and crafts of the region.

The most sought after and beautiful of the works from this region are the carved sculptural representations of Buddha and his various monks and attendants, used for veneration and contemplation in homes and temples. Examples of pieces in alabaster, wood, bronze and lacquered papier- mâché are included. The Burmese seated Buddha illustrated here is exceptional fine, lacquer on wood,19th century from Mandalay.

Some fine architectural carved features are also on display, including a pair of very fine large carved doors depicting dancing figures with a cinnabar and gilt patination, which were probably originally made for a temple doorway, as well as a very ornate gilded wood carved altar piece which was the main section of a small shrine. Furniture pieces include a lovely black lacquer and gilt painted rectangular storage chest for documents, and a table screen wonderfully painted with a standing Buddha and attendants in reds and golds on a black ground.

Lacquer is one of the great inventions of this region, being lightweight, waterproof and elastic until it dries, and an interesting group of pieces for display and food storage as well as for ceremonial temple offerings, such as betel nut boxes, bowls, raised trays and large offering vessels have been collected together for this exhibition.

Another particularly important skill and tradition for which this region is admired is silk weaving. On show are some finely woven examples of mudmee ikat silks from Thailand and Cambodia as well as some examples of Burmese Lun-taya, a very specialized tapestry weave with abstract stripes in extraordinary colour combinations.

Some excellent Lao and Burmese silver items will also be shown, these decorative vessels were mainly used for ceremonial purposes and tend to be highly decorated using repoussé and engraving techniques. Of particular interest are bowls in the shape of monks begging bowls, decorated with signs of the zodiac or highly ornate raised figures depicting the tales of Jataka.

Finally there is an extensive collection of gilt lacquered and painted Burmese "bibles" or Kammavaca manuscripts on which religious texts from the Pali Vinaya are beautifully painted in square and ornate script on rectangular leaves. These are beautifully decorated and show exquisite workmanship in the mastery of painting, gilding, and lacquering techniques.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Gallery, where the vibrant colours, and exotic materials of South East Asia will be a feast for all the senses.