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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Friday, 25 April 2014

Tension !

An important piece of studio equipment are the Japanese drying boards - karibari. These are constructed using a Japanese white cedar lattice covered with many layers of strong mulberry fibred paper. This is then coated with a fermented persimmon juice called kaki-shibu. The kaki-shibu comes from the astringent persimmon rather than the sweet culinary version and has a high proportion of tannin. This gives a semi porous coating which allows the paintings to dry from both sides in a more balanced way rather than from one side only. 

The karibari are light and portable considering their size and essential in helping condition and flatten the paintings. To attach the sections of hand scroll wheat starch paste is applied to a fold of excess paper lining so that the painting is effectively floating. The paintings are left under tension on the karibari to condition for many weeks.

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