IIC 2014 Hong Kong Congress

Hong Kong Day & Night © Hong Kong Govt. LCSD

21 September 2014 - 25 September 2014

IIC was delighted to present the 25th biennial IIC Congress and, for the first time, IIC held its Congress in a sub-tropical region which brings its own, very particular problems of preventive conservation. The 2014 event was held at Hong Kong’s City Hall, situated in the heart of the city.

Outline format

Technical programme part 1: 22nd , 23rd September ( Monday & Tuesday) &
24th September (Wednesday morning)
Cultural Tours: 24th September (Wednesday afternoon)
Technical programme part 2: 25th & 26th September (Thursday & Friday)

You can see the full range of papers and posters that made up the programme here at the programme page - these are grouped under their themes, so that you can better see the full range and depth of presentations.

A special feature of the 2014 Congress was a discussion session devoted to environmental standards for the safekeeping of cultural heritage objects and the management of environmental conditions within museums and other buildings in a responsible and sustainable way, bearing in mind the need to reduce the carbon footprint of museums and their activities.

There was a poster display, including the familiar student poster section, and a trade fair with leading suppliers and service providers in the field.

While parallel meetings were held for members of the IIC Fellowship, representatives of IIC Regional Groups, student participants and grant recipients during the Congress week, there was also be a number of free thematic presentations offered by the sponsors over the lunch breaks.

An Unbroken History: Conserving East Asian Works of Art and Heritage

Objects of art and heritage generally reveal their significance through different senses: their form and appearance; the messages and stories they contain; the knowledge and information hidden within them. Hence, conservation efforts are meant not only to assist the study of the history and the making of our heritage but also to help us to appreciate and to revivify its beauties and merits. Each form and artefact of East Asian art and heritage, in addition to assuming a unique style and nature, carries an important meaning from and testimony to the culture and history of the people and the region that created them.

The IIC 2014 Hong Kong Congress provided a platform to bring together a wide variety of views and dialogues to address the various areas of work, study and analysis involved in the conservation of East Asian art and heritage. It focused on how conservation helps to retain or recover and then communicate the messages that East Asian art and heritage carry, and addressed how the history or meaning of this art and heritage affects the decision-making processes and course of conservation treatments. Different conservation approaches, and hence methodologies, were discussed and examined, and linked in to the unveiling of traditional craftsmanship, manufacturing materials and patterns of use or previous restorations. With advances in technology, an increasingly efficient flow of information and a growing awareness of conservation ethics, more specific and sustainable ways to treat art and heritage, as compared to traditional approaches, were also explored.

These different approaches to conservation may be applied to the treatment of a wide range of objects and materials: scroll paintings and calligraphy; prints; textiles and costumes; wall paintings; sculpture; furniture and lacquer wares; jewellery, ceramics and metalwork of all varieties pertinent to the region. The conservation of the built heritage, including historical and archaeological sites, monuments and historic buildings with distinctive oriental features is an important aspect of conservation in the region. The intangible cultural heritage of a community, its traditions, customs and rituals, its music, folk arts and crafts, has a value that is incalculable, but it may wither and diminish inconspicuously, unable to compete with the pressures of the strident modern world, if we are unaware of its importance. Innovative approaches and methods are required if we are to preserve the relics and objects which are inseparable parts of the intangible cultural heritage and complement efforts in its preservation.

Congress languages

The languages of the congress were English and Chinese. Simultaneous interpretation from English to Chinese (Putonghua) and vice versa was made available at the main Congress venue. The Congress printed publications were in Chinese and English.