Seeing Art Anew: Mounting and Conservation of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

Overview

  • Date
    From 2024.03.22
  • Venue
    Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 4/F
  • Fee
    Free
Ho Iu-kwong, the Master of Chih Lo Lou once lamented the destruction of ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphy due to wars, natural calamities, pest damage and the natural elements. The survival of these artworks owes much to the meticulous craftmanship of traditional mounting techniques. In collaboration with the Conservation Office, the Hong Kong Museum of Art presents this exhibition that focuses on selected research studies of the Chih Lo Lou Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy. It explores Chinese paintings and calligraphy from artistic and scientific perspectives, providing insight into the conservation work behind the scenes of the museum.

Echoing the theme of merging art and science, the exhibition features a series of multimedia displays created by the local art group XR Experience. Through the use of augmented reality technology and projections, revealing the step-by-step processes in mounting and introducing a variety of commonly used mounting tools. The designed interactive animation also allows you to gain first-hand insights into their work. 


Programme 

Programme

【Lecture】

Mounting and Aesthetics – Reflections on Format Changes in the Transmission of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy (Concluded)
The three major formats in Chinese painting and calligraphy—handscroll, hanging scroll, and album leaf—have well-established histories after a long period of development in China, reflecting aesthetic trends and fashions of each era. Since the pre-Modern era, however, along with the collecting and dispersal of Chinese painting and calligraphy to Japan and the outside world, there have been a number of changes in formats, and these have given rise to many thought-provoking issues for art historians on the transmission of art objects within the transcultural context.

Date: 2024.03.23 (Saturday)
Time: 2:30 – 4:30pm
Location: Lecture Hall, B/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Speaker: Prof. Hui-shu LEE
Format: Live and Zoom Webinar
Language: Putonghua (Simultaneous interpretation in English on Zoom Webinar)
Fee: Free
*Enrolment is not required. The Lecture Hall will be open for admission at 2:15 pm. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For joining the lecture via Zoom Webinar, please click here.


About the Speaker:
Hui-shu LEE is Professor of Art History at UCLA. She received her doctorate degree from Yale University in 1994 after first studying at National Taiwan University and working in the National Palace Museum. Her field of specialization is Chinese painting and visual culture in the pre-modern era, with a particular focus on gender issues. She also works extensively on representations of place, cultural mapping, and gardens. Among her publications are Exquisite Moments: West Lake & Southern Song Art (New York: China Institute, 2001) and Empresses, Art, and Agency in Song Dynasty China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010). She is currently completing a book titled Picturing West Lake: the Poetics and Representation of An Iconic Place.

Sponsored by Bei Shan Tang Foundation
Organised by the Hong Kong Museum of Art
Co-organised by Department of Fine Arts, CUHK


【Demonstration】

Throughout the exhibition period, live sessions will be conducted by the museum’s conservators to demonstrate traditional Chinese mounting and the steps involved in preserving these delicate artworks. Engaging closely with the conservators, visitors will gain valuable knowledge and insights into the intricate work and efforts involved in preserving these artworks.

Day 1 Lining and Mounting
The mounting of a Chinese painting begins with the lining of the painting, which involves adhering with starch paste a piece of Xuan paper to the back of the painting, once combined the Xuan paper backing, known as “mingzhi” provides the painting with additional support and prepares it for the subsequent mounting steps. Join us for a live demonstration of Chinese painting lining and mounting!

Date: 2024.04.13 (Saturday)
Time: (Section 1) 2:00 – 2:30pm; (Section 2) 4:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 4/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Speaker: Assistant Curators from the Conservation Office
Format: Live
Language: Cantonese
Fee: Free
*Enrollment is not required.

Day 2 Preparing silk lined paper
In the mounting of Chinese paintings and calligraphy, plain silk or silk twill lined paper are most commonly used as the decorative boarders. Silk twill fabric woven with pattern known as “hualing”, commonly featured motifs include designs of flowers and birds, dragons and phoenixes, the Chinese character “shou” for longevity. Our conservator will give a brief overview of silk fabrics then demonstrate on how to prepare them for mounting.

Date: 2024.05.03 (Friday)
Time: (Section 1) 2:00 – 2:30pm; (Section 2) 4:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 4/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Speaker: Assistant Curators from the Conservation Office
Format: Live
Language: Cantonese
Fee: Free
*Enrollment is not required.

Day 3 Rubbing and Installation
Every step and detail counts, including the back of a mounted painting! Applying wax and rubbing with a stone on the back of a mounted painting creates a smooth humidity resistant coating. Even the step to install the bottom roller and pair of knobs cannot be overlooked, it involves wood-working skills! Do you want to know the trick? Come and find out!

Date: 2024.06.22 (Saturday)
Time: (Section 1) 2:00 – 2:30pm; (Section 2) 4:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 4/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art
Speaker: Assistant Curators from the Conservation Office
Format: Live
Language: Cantonese
Fee: Free
*Enrollment is not required.