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Thursday, May 16 • 9:00am - 9:30am
(Book and Paper) Combining Traditional Thinking and Innovative Methods On the Conservation Of Chinese Hanging Scroll – A Case Study From the National Palace Museum Collections

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One of the dilemmas encountered by paper conservators is that the traditional conservation method used in the past requires a hanging scroll to be fully stripped and re-mounted. This method often can cause serious damages to the painting, it’s time-consuming, and it alters the original decorative format of the art. Nowadays, there are a large number of museum collections that need to be conserved, however, only limited available human resources. To overcome the above difficulties, we brainstormed from the traditional practice, and seek for the development of a new method that consists of easy-to-use materials and simple treatments. This new method was carried out on two hanging scrolls. The first piece is a calligraphy hanging scroll by Yuan dynasty, which creases can be found all over the artwork. Formerly, most conservators will use paper strips to repair the creases. In order to avoid the shrinkage problem during the process, past conservators will use heavy weights to flatten the paper, but this method has limited effect. Therefore, the GROTEX sandwich technique was developed and then flatten with weight. This method enables a better-flattening result, but it is a time-consuming process and the blotting paper needs to be replaced multiple times during the procedures. Furthermore, phenomenon such as undulation and deformation caused by incomplete drying and uneven shrinkage may occur on the painting. The new method presented in this article offers another solution to the above challenges. After adhering the paper strips to Qianlong Emperor’s calligraphy, Fong Suei Xuan (strong pure white pineapple paper) strips are then pasted on both sides of the hanging scroll to secure the artwork. The calligraphy is then completely humidified and flattened on the drying board. The advantage of this method is the simplicity of the operation and the blotters do not need to be frequently replaced. The workpiece has a uniform pulling force and is flat after drying. The second hanging scroll is a painting, which has partially creased and with severe damages on both the upper and bottom brocades. Traditionally, the upper and the bottom brocades will be exchanged with new replacements. This method is a long ongoing tradition that has some shortcomings, For example, the connection of the old and new parts will cause inconsistent shrinkage, which results in problems such as unevenness and deformation. To solve the above challenges Fong Suei Xuan paper strips were pasted on the four edges of the painting. The artwork is then humidified, flattened, combined with its upper and bottom brocades, and then the entire back of the painting was lined with two layers of Fong Suei Xuan. After the whole painting has dried, it was then re-wetted. The painting was now flat and soft. This new method not only makes the treatment easy to operate but equally important this method allows the painting to retains a large percentage of its original decorative mounting format. Moreover, the required time has greatly reduced. The preservation of cultural relics is well and effectively protected under this new conservation method.

avatar for Sun-Hsin Hung

Sun-Hsin Hung

National Palace Museum, Department of Registration and Conservation as a Chinese Painting Conservation Associate Researcher and as the Section Chief, National Palace Museum
Hung, Sun-hsin was born in Taiwan, 1967, graduated from Taipei National University of Fine Arts, Arts Department, and received M.A. from Tainan National University of the Arts, Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics, Tainan. Currently work at the National Palace Museum... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 9:00am - 9:30am EDT
Earth Ballroom A Earth Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Book and Paper
  • Track Book and Paper
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Sun-Hsin Hung
  • Abstract ID 18834
  • Tags calligraphy and painting mounting,Fong Suei Xuan,pure white pineapple paper,moisturizing stretch