IIC and the Palace Museum in Beijing have for four consecutive years offered conservation training on specific topics in Beijing. On Monday 22 October we welcomed 23 participants from China and many corners of the world including Australia, Croatia, Norway, Greece, Mexico, Peru, Qatar, Korea, Serbia, Singapore, Ukraine and the Czech Republic to take part in the 2018 workshop, which focused on the paper and photograph conservation.
The opening ceremony was launched in the Palace Museum's Digital Studio where the Director, Dr Shan Jixiang, spoke eloquently on the Museum's recent endeavours, highlighting their determination to apply science and technology to traditional conservation approaches, and various plans for the future. In this intense course over ten days, participants will be working closely with instructors Sarah Staniforth, Margaret Holben Ellis, Debbie Hess Norris, Juergen Vervoorst, Austin Nevin, and specialists from the Palace Museum.
Starting with an overview of the current approaches to preventive conservation and non-destructive analysis of paper/photographic artefacts, participants will then be engaged in thematic sessions consisting of lectures, case studies, group works and hands-on sessions in the ‘Conservation Hospital’ at the Palace Museum to examine the conservation issues and techniques associated with different types of paper-based materials. In addition, participants will be able to inspect some of the impressive paintings and calligraphies from the imperial collection of the Palace Museum, and look into the approaches and materials they applied to Chinese works of art on paper. As in the previous workshops, we expect lively and productive interactions between participants from diverse cultural backgrounds and specialties will generate many interesting and thought-provoking ideas for discussion.
Following immediately after the workshop there will be a symposium on 1-2 November, which brings together 16 international and Chinese speakers worldwide with different expertise in the study of paper conservation. This will offer a valuable opportunity for participants to connect and expand professional networks in the field with colleagues across the world, and enable the fruitful exchange of experience and culture. A detailed report on these exciting events will soon be available on the IIC website.