Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Cooperation on Exhibition and Lecture for Commemorative Symposium

Hie Sanno Sairei-Zu folding screen
Commemorative symposium lecture by Ms. Emura
Interactive display in exhibit room

 In commemoration of the repair of “the Hie Sanno Sairei-Zu folding screen” completed under the Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas in 2007, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, which owns the screen, is holding an exhibit of the repaired screen entitled “Art Unfolded: Japan’s Gift of Conservation” from January 17 to February 22. Before starting repair, the Museum wanted to exhibit the materials/tools and processes that were used for the actual repair, along with the repaired work, so that Japanese culture and traditional techniques could be comprehensively understood. Our Institute cooperated with preparation activities. In the exhibit room, the Chinese papers, paints for repair, brushes, round knives, and other tools have been placed in an exhibit case with a touch panel sensor: This makes an interactive display that enables viewers to touch the case and view a video explaining the stored items and repair processes. This display was very well received because it gave a deeper understanding of the conservation and restoration of Japanese cultural properties which were little known overseas. At the same time, the Museum played a video showing the actual Hie Sanno festival in cooperation with the Otsu City Museum of History, along with “Weaving Gold Brocade: Mounted Strips Decorating Calligraphic Works and Paintings” in cooperation with the Kyushu National Museum. It deeply introduced Japanese traditional culture.
 On January 19, a symposium was held commemorating the exhibit (aid: Japan-United States Arts Program, Japan Foundation). Following greetings by Mr. Ohsawa Tsutomu, the Japanese Consul General in Houston, Mr. Takahiro Nakamura, Conservator for the Association for the Conservation of National Treasures, Kyushu Section, gave a lecture entitled “Treasured Japanese Tradition: Conservation of the Hie Sanno Sairei-Zu Screens”; Mr. Nakamura was in charge of the actual repair. Tomoko Emura presented a lecture on the characteristics of the work from the viewpoint of art history, entitled “A Divine Procession: The Hie Sanno Sairei-Zu”.
 More than 150 people gathered in the Hall of the Museum, and symposium was a valuable opportunity in terms of both reports on the results of the research and engaging in international cultural exchange.

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