Understanding Asian Papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation

This unique three day workshop for up to 12 people provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the history of East Asian papers (Chinese, Korean and Japanese) and their applications in Western paper conservation practice today. The cost is $600.

The aim of this workshop is to equip conservators with the skills to identify different East Asian papers, appreciate their individual traits and the great contribution that Eastern papers can make to modern western conservation practice.

When: Oct 9-11, 2013
Where: Smithsonian Libraries Book Conservation Lab, Landover, MD
(Detailed directions will be mailed to participants under separate cover.)

Workshop Overview

Chinese, Korean and Japanese paper appear to have similar characteristics to each other, yet their differences are very visible when we look at their raw materials and methods of papermaking. Participants will be given a brief overview of the main developments in the production history of Asian papers together with methods of contemporary manufacture.

There will be a presentation of microscopic photographs of the fibers of different East Asian papers and an explanation of how to distinguish and identify them. This will be followed by a study of different paper samples made using various raw materials, processes and drying methods. Participants will then be shown how to apply this knowledge to select appropriate papers according to the requirements of specific treatments in Western paper conservation. Some of the techniques used in Asian conservation that have been adapted and modified for the treatment of Western paper objects will also be introduced.

At the end of the workshop there will be time for participants to reflect, evaluate and discuss the application of Asian papers and techniques in their own conservation practice.

Participants are welcome to bring their own Asian papers for examination and Western paper objects for practice.

Instructor: Minah Song

Minah Song is currently a paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia, USA. She received an M.A. in East Asian Art History from the Academy of Korean Studies in Korea and an M.A. in Conservation from Camberwell College of Arts in London, UK. She works on a variety of artworks on paper, from maps, architectural drawings, archival materials, parchment and Asian objects. Some of her published research projects include: Permanence, Durability and Unique Properties of Hanji, co-authored with Jesse Munn (‘AIC Book and Paper Annual’, 2005), The History and Characteristics of Korean Books and Bookbinding (‘Journal of the Institute of Conservation’, 2009), The Art of Non-assertion – how to look at Asian papers (‘Guild of Book Worker’s Journal,’ publication pending).

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