Autumn and Winter are happy seasons this year for Jennifer Loubser.  She has extended the life of a historic Japanese folding screen in the collection of Queensland Art Gallery.

Conserving Hinges Of An 18th Century 8-Panel Japanese Folding Screen

If you enjoy stunning displays of antique Japanese artworks, we highly recommend seeing this unusual 8-panel folding screen now. It now stands in the Queensland Art Gallery, part of the exhibition ‘A Fleeting Bloom:  Japanese Art from the Collection’

The Gallery asked Jennifer Loubser to stabilise and conserve this 18th-Century Japanese folding screen.  Weakened with use over the centuries, fragile single-layer paper hinges had begun to tear apart from the adjacent panels. Gold leaf papers were delaminating. If folding screens are displayed completely flat their hinges can begin to strain and tension may be exerted across the painted surface. It was essential that these frail connections were supported with museum quality Japanese handmade paper, before the failing hinges began to cause splits across the paintings.

Jennifer’s many years of work as a specialist East Asian Paintings Conservator at Honolulu Museum of Arts, at South Korea’s Gochang Conservation Institute, and at Tokyo National Research Institute, gave her top-level expertise which she continues today for Australian institutions and private collections. Queensland Art Gallery’s folding screen has received the same level of attention as national treasures and museum collections worldwide.

This koshi-byobu, a waist-height folding screen, will survive in excellent condition for hundreds of years to come.  The tradition of displaying art seasonally is strong in Japan. Rotating displays provides rest and protection, so the artworks may also live longer lives.

Read more on the QAGOMA website.

A fleeting bloom: Japanese Art from the Collection’ is on display at Queensland Art Gallery in Gallery 6 (Henry & Amanda Bartlett Gallery) until 29 September 2019.

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