Restoration of East Asian Art

Traditional Frames for Kakejiku Scrolls


The papers used in East Asian Art are typically composed of vegetable materials including mulberry, bamboo, hemp, and gampi. These papers all have heavily absorbed abilities while also fine in width allowing for the ink to penetrate the paper and show all its intensity and dances in the practice of calligraphy and sumi-e painting. 

The ink itself is in the form of a compact rectangular block made up of animal glue and soot. The stick is rubbed against a stone crumbling into fine grains, and then mixed with water to develop into a deep black liquid with tints of red, blue, or brown. Of Chinese origin dating back to as early as the 12th century, the use of inkstick (or ink cakes) spread throughout Asia with the diffusion of Buddhism when itinerant monks transported religious texts while also bringing along calligraphy materials necessary for literary culture. The ink is particularly popular in East Asia in the arts of China, Japan, and Korea. 

In order to help conserve the art that utilized the ink medium, as well as facilitate their transport and storage, flexible frames mounted on a roller are used and known by their Japanese names: kakejiku suspends work vertically while e-maki unfolds the work horizontally. The patterns of silk lining the frames and the forms of kakejiku are coded under calligraphy text, either sacred writing, poetry or the theme of the painting. 

Marouflage and Roller Mounting


The work first undergoes the process of marouflage, ura-uchi, meaning it is layered or consolidated, by another layer of paper applied to the reverse side of the paper with a starch-based glue. This process is done not only to consolidate the work but also to flatten the paper which has been buckled by the calligraphy brush. By this process, the ink will reveal all of its nuances. Marouflage is a mandatory preliminary action. 

The work can then be framed by traditional silks or more contemporary textiles according to the wishes of the client and then mounted into a roll. 

The Atelier also handles works made using Sumié, an ink with Chinese origins used for prints, calligraphy, ink and pigment paintings, as well as ancient and modern marouflage works.

All materials used for the production of kakejiku and sumié artworks have a neutral pH level and are chosen in accordance with ancient practices and the principle of reversibility. 

The Atelier du Temps Passé, with over decades of experience and support from their team of painting restoration specialists, will respond to all your needs. 

A detailed estimate is always established before any intervention. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any information or for matters of urgency (water damage, fire, insurance appraisals, etc.) 

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