Concise Encyclopedia of Crafts from the Asia Pacific Region

The WCC-Asia Pacific Region is undertaking a project to publish the “Concise Encyclopedia of Crafts in Asia Pacific“. The project is an initiative of the current President, Dr. Ghada Hijjawi-Qaddumi, who is also generously providing its funding.  The aim is to help safeguard craft traditions and ensure their survival into the future.

While the Asia Pacific is seen as a region of emerging economies that will direct the course of the 21st century, it is important that this development does not come at a cost of its precious living heritage. These crafts give our lives long-term meaning and connect our expanding future to the rich traditions of the past.

We aim to produce the encyclopedia for the next General Assembly of the World Crafts Council in October 2016.

The first step in this process is to develop a Working List of Crafts in the Asia Pacific, to be coordinated by the Vice-Presidents of the sub-regions. This list will provide a foundation on which the information can then be collected.

For more information and to make contact, go to

Guidelines for inclusion

Each craft should fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Be a technique that involves specialist skill of a craftsperson (rather than hobbyist). If the skill belongs to a category such as textiles, ceramics, metalware or sculpture, please add the name for the specific process (e.g., Textiles: Shibori, or Ceramics: Raku).
  2. Be unique to the country in some way, such as in style, materials or use (it can originate elsewhere if it is interpreted differently). There may be some cases where the craft is shared between more than one country.  In this case, it can be included in the ‘Shared’ category for the region.
  3. The unique craft is currently being practised by at least one person.


The initial working list of crafts is to be completed by 20 April 2015.


East Asia

  • China
  • Japan
  • Mongolia
  • South Korea
  • North Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Shared

Central Asia

  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Shared

South Asia

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Shared

West Asia

  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • UAE
  • Yemen
  • Shared

South East Asia

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Burma/Myanmar
  • Cambodia
  • East Timor
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Shared

South Pacific

  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Guam
  • Kiribati
  • Micronesia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tahiti
  • Vanuatu
  • Shared

5 thoughts on “Concise Encyclopedia of Crafts from the Asia Pacific Region”

  1. I am a master weaver within a body of archival retention fibre artists in far North Queensland. KOCA ; Keeping Our Culture Alive .
    I am seeking to network our archival recordings of traditional aboriginal and pacific basketry into public networks in Australia.
    Can you network me to any relevant pathways of folk craft archives that would appreciate this living practice by the only few hands competent in pre-contact quality ancestral practices.
    kind regards Stuart

  2. engraving
    Amongst the earliest colonists were engravers, forgers and illustrators. The Charlotte medal commemorates the distance travelled from England to Australia. Earlier Dutch navigators left a pewter dish engraved with Hartog…

    John William Lewin was the author of the first work pub- lished on the animals of Australia , some of the earliest engravings produced in Australia.
    Emma Fielden was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1977 and moved to Australia in 1980. She presently lives and works in Parramatta, Sydney. Trained as an engraver and a gold and silversmith, her current art practice crosses the disciplines of contemporary jewellery, drawing, sculpture and installation, utilising materials such as paper and ink, whitened silver, blackened gold, iron and most recently ferrite ceramic magnets. Obsessive, laborious and meditative in nature, Fielden’s art practice is largely concerned with repetitively built up lines, marks or forms, be they small intimate hand drawn and engraved metal objects intended to be worn upon the body, architectural interventions and installations or works on paper.

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