Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Center for Conservation Science
Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage


Workshops on the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects on Paper and Silk in Berlin, Germany

Lecture on handling of folding screens
Practical work on restoration of a hanging scroll

 These workshops are held annually for the purpose of preservation and utilization of Japanese art objects, such as paintings and calligraphic works overseas, and promotion of the understanding of these objects. This year, the basic course “Japanese Paper and Silk Cultural Properties” held from July 4th to 6th, 2018, and the advanced course “Restoration of Japanese Hanging Scrolls” held from July 9th to 13th were conducted at the Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin (Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) with the support of the Asian Art Museum and Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum).
 In the basic course, 13 restorers, conservators and students from ten countries participated. This course consisted of lectures, demonstrations, and practical work that covered the process from the creation of a cultural property to its appearance before the public, that is, its creation, mounting, exhibition and viewing. Participants were lectured on the materials used for the cultural properties, such as adhesives, mineral pigments and paper, and participated in the practical work of painting on silk, Chinese ink painting and handling of hanging scrolls.
 In the advanced course, instructors from a certified group that holds the Selected Conservation Techniques dubbed “Restoration techniques for mounts” conducted practical work sessions and lectures to ten restorers from six countries. The instructors demonstrated techniques such as lining and reattachment of roller knobs, and the participants experienced the removing and attaching of the rods of a hanging scroll during the practical work sessions. Through these sessions, the participants could gain an understanding of the structure of hanging scrolls and knowledge and techniques for the restoration of hanging scrolls. Discussions were actively held in both courses. In addition to a question and answer session, opinions about restoration and applications of Japanese techniques and materials were exchanged.
 Similar projects will be implemented with the aim of contribution to the preservation and utilization of Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties overseas by sharing information about conservation materials and techniques in Japan with conservators overseas.


International Course on Paper Conservation in Latin America in Mexico City

Explanation of the tools
Practical work and lecture on adhesives

 From May 28th to June 13th, 2018, the International Course on Paper Conservation in Latin America: Meeting with the East, was held as part of the LATAM program (conservation of cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean). This course has been jointly organized by Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). It has been held since 2012 at the Coordinacion Nacional de Conservacion del Patrimonio Cultural (CNCPC), which belongs to INAH, in Mexico City. This year, 11 conservation specialists from 8 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Spain) participated.
 TNRICP hosted the first part of the course (May 29th to June 5th). TNRICP researchers and the instructor, who is from a certified group that holds the Selected Conservation Techniques dubbed “Restoration Techniques of Mounting,” offered practical works and lectures on the materials, tools, and techniques used for conservation. The objective of these sessions was to apply Japanese restoration techniques to cultural properties overseas. The practical session was carried out with CNCPC staff members, who learned “Restoration Techniques of Mounting” for several months at TNRICP.
 In the latter half of the course (June 6th to June 13th), specialists in the restoration of cultural properties from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina gave lectures. The main theme was the application of traditional handmade Japanese paper to Western conservation and restoration techniques. They spoke about how to select materials and apply their techniques to Western paper cultural properties. The lecturers had previously participated in international courses organized by TNRICP, and we were able to reaffirm that informational and practical exchanges through these courses contribute to the protection of cultural properties overseas.


Evaluation Seminar 2017: Workshops on conservation of Japanese lacquerware (urushi objects)

Group photo with the contributors after the seminar

 Workshops on Conservation of Japanese Lacquerware (urushi objects) have been held since 2006, with the cooperation of Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Museen Köln (Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne), Germany. The workshops introduce the knowledge and techniques required for the preservation and utilization of lacquerware overseas. In these past 10 years, 179 professionals and students in total had participated from 17 countries. In order to measure the outcomes of the past workshops, this year, an evaluation seminar was held at Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) on November 8th and 9th, 2017.
 Prior to holding the seminar, a questionnaire survey targeting all former participants was conducted. Contributors to the seminar were gathered from the respondents of the questionnaire, and 4 specialists and professors in conservation and restoration were invited from 4 countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece and the USA). On the first day of the seminar, the contributors presented their conservation projects and/or educational activities in conservation, which were undertaken after they participated in the workshops. The presentations provided the opportunity to share their situations and challenges on how the acquired knowledge and skills were applied to their work. The second day started with reporting the results of the questionnaire survey from TNRICP, followed by an in-depth discussion with the contributors. Issues on conservation of lacquerwares overseas and how we can support to address such issues by providing the workshops were considered.


Workshops on Paper and Silk for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects in Berlin, Germany

Explanation of Japanese paper
Practical work to understand the structure of a folding screen

 These workshops are held annually for the purpose of preservation and utilization of Japanese art objects such as paintings and calligraphic works overseas, and the promotion of understanding of these objects. In this year, the basic course “Japanese Paper and Silk Cultural Properties” was conducted from July 5th to 7th, 2017 and the advanced course “Restoration of Japanese Folding Screens” from the 10th to 14th at the Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin (Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) with the support of the Asian Art Museum and Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum).
 In the basic course, 11 restorers, conservators and students from seven countries participated. This course included lectures on the materials used for the cultural properties, such as adhesives, mineral pigments and paper. Practical works on painting on silk, Chinese ink painting and handling hanging scrolls were also conducted. In the advanced course, instructors from a certificated group holding the Selected Conservation Techniques “restoration techniques for mounts” gave practical works and lectures to nine restorers from six countries. This course aimed to provide a method in which Japanese folding screens are conserved using the traditional technique. The participants could understand the structure and functions of a folding screen by accomplishing processes from the underlying work to the application of the final surface paper.
 Discussions were held in both courses actively. In addition to a question and answer session, opinions about restoration and applications of Japanese techniques and materials were exchanged.
 Similar projects will be implemented with the aim of contribution of the preservation and utilization of Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties overseas by sharing information about conservation materials and techniques in Japan with conservators overseas.


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