5th Conference on Traditional Restoration Materials and Synthetic Resins: Study and Repair of Traditional Paints Used in Architectural Cultural Properties

Observation of paint samples

 The Technical Standards Section of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques held a conference entitled the Study and Repair of Traditional Paints Used in Architectural Cultural Properties in the Institute’s basement seminar hall on September 29th (Thurs.). This conference reprised the theme of Study and Repair of Lacquers Used in Architectural Cultural Properties from the 4th Conference that was held last year. Lacquers are exceptional traditional paints that symbolize Japan and are also restoration materials. The common perception is that paints used in architectural cultural properties that are being restored include only lacquers or pigments+glue. In actuality, however, research has revealed that various other materials, such as drying oils, pine resin, and persimmon tannin, have been used in paint in accordance with the period and conditions. The 5th Conference examined a third type of paint that was neither a lacquer nor a glue. At the conference, I. KITANO began by raising several questions. Dr. Shigeru KUBODERA of the Institute for the History of Architectural Ornamentation Techniques then proceeded to talk primarily about the “Paint known as ‘chian [from Chian turpentine]’ and techniques for its application.” Next, Mr. Noritake SATO of the Nikko Cultural Assets Association for the Preservation of Shrines and Temples lectured on the status of paints other than lacquers used on the temples and shrines of Nikko from the viewpoint of a restorer. Last, Dr. Takayuki Honda of Meiji University explained the science of paint, with a focus on drying oils, and he also reported results of organic analysis of the paints actually used on the temples and shrines of Nikko. The lecturers’ talks were persuasive since they presented issues from the experts’ points of view, and attendees were also given the chance to observe paint samples and boards from the temples and shrines of Nikko brought by Mr. Sato.

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