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Restoration for What: Rethinking of The Theory and Practice of Painting and Calligraphy Restoration -- The 113th Session of Beihong Forum was Successfully Completed.

On 6:30 p.m. on December 16, 2020 began the lecture of Beihong Forum organised by the School of Fine Arts of Nanjing Normal University in room 501, Yuanmei Building, Xianlin Campus. The lecture was given by Mr. Lu Zongrun, director of the Institute of Restoration, School of Fine Arts, Nanjing Normal University.

Professor Lu Zongrun is currently master tutor of the Chinese Academy of Arts, expert in the training and training program for Chinese intangible cultural heritage inheriters under the Ministry of Culture, and director of the Hanhetang Institute of Restoration of Calligraphy and Painting in Japan. He worked at The Shanghai Museum from 1972 to 1988, under the tutorship of Xu Maokang, a famous restoration master of Yangzhou school, and Dou Zhirong, a famous restoration master of Suzhou school (a silk painting of Han tomb no. 1, Mawangdui, Changsha City). He participated in and independently repaired more than 100 pieces made by famous artists in the Five Dynasties, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties and modern times. During this period, he also learned stele mounting from Mr. Wan Yu Cheng. In 1989, he went to Japan to study Japanese painting and calligraphy restoration and mounting techniques. In 1998, he set up hanhetang Painting and calligraphy restoration studio in Osaka, Japan. He has become one of the only ten Japanese painting and calligraphy restoration studios with national painting and calligraphy collection qualification. Professor Lu has restored more than 300 pieces from the National collection of Japan and is also the only professional studio in Japan for the restoration of ancient Chinese paintings and calligraphy. After decades of research and exploration, Professor Lu has solved several heavyweight technical problems in the field of painting and calligraphy mounting and restoration. And he has achieved the fusion of The Japanese technology of Tang and Song dynasties and the Chinese restoration culture of Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as formed a new system of operation skills.

This lecture started from Professor Lu's thoughts on practice and theory during his years of ancient painting and calligraphy restoration in order to show the audience the deeper knowledge behind the mysterious and interesting industry of painting and calligraphy restoration. Chinese calligraphy and painting works of all dynasties are not only an important and brilliant part of the development of Chinese art, but also the record and witness of the historical development and cultural prosperity. However, after the passage of time, changes of times, even disasters and wars, many calligraphy and painting works have been lost. In the process of spreading, they have been affected by aging, breaking, mildew or man-made damage to different degrees. Therefore, decoration and restoration of calligraphy and painting have emerged at the historic moment and have been developed to varying degrees in many countries. The theory of painting and calligraphy restoration is the systematic knowledge summarized by restorers according to different experiences in the practice of painting and calligraphy restoration, and is also an important basis for scientific conservation and restoration work. Rehabilitation and frame has a long history of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Professor Lu studied and reflected on the western restoration theory from the practical experience of Chinese painting and calligraphy restoration and mounting over the past 40 years. On this basis, he tried to analyze and study the artistic characteristics of Chinese painting and calligraphy, the traditional context of restoration, and the experience accumulated in the actual work of peace Day, so as to explore a way of restoration theory suitable for Chinese painting and calligraphy works.

Professor Lu described his 25-year apprenticeship experience in China and Japan, and introduced the writing process of his book "Theory of Restoration of Calligraphy and Painting". The concept of restoration is the guiding ideology in the actual work of restoration and the premise of scientific protection. As early as in the 1860s, Cesare Blandi, an Italian and Roman artist, summarized and sorted out the western ideas of conservation and restoration, and wrote the "Theory of Restoration" combining his own artistic knowledge and intuition. And the Chinese painting and calligraphy restoration and mounting technology in the history of more than a thousand years has not formed a complete theoretical works, but only seen in sporadic data, or master and apprentice inheritance and oral transmission. The significance of painting and calligraphy restoration should not be limited to the preservation of the damaged status quo, but should be through the repair of painting and calligraphy materials and the necessary image restoration, excavate the potential artistic value of artworks, to extend their artistic life to a certain extent. In Brandi's "Theory of Restoration", the duality of artistic works lies in its aesthetic value and historical value. There are three basic principles of modern restoration: reversible restoration strategy, recognizability and minimum intervention. From the perspective of traditional Chinese art form, Professor Lu reflected on and recreated Brandi's theory. The differences between Chinese and Western art features and aesthetic culture prompt us to establish a protection and restoration theory which are unique to Chinese culture. The peculiarity of Chinese painting and calligraphy lies in its inheritance, manifested as inscriptions, collection marks, ancient colors, decoration and other external forms. Then Professor Lu talked about the change of the restoration concept under the contemporary background. In the 21st century, restoration should be a comprehensive discipline that takes scientific protection as the premise, takes technology as the core, introduces artistic aesthetics, and seeks a balance point among the three. It is derived from tradition, oriented towards the future, and allows the art to be inherited in a longer term. The restoration work often includes two levels of content, one is "maintenance of the status quo repair", the other is "restoration repair". The two have their own emphasis and advantages and disadvantages. The restoration should also pay attention to the three aspects of traditional painting, namely, the painting idea, the ancient idea and the material, to distinguish the ancient color from the dirty color. Finally, Mr. Lu concluded that the overall principle of the restoration system is to follow the aesthetic feeling of Chinese painting and calligraphy, excavate and inherit the essence of traditional restoration techniques, and learn from the scientific spirit of western restoration. Professor Lu is committed to construct a complete and academically made calligraphy and painting restoration education system based on mentoring system in China, so that more young people can contact and inherit traditional crafts.

At the end of the lecture, Professor Lu actively answered questions for the students, and the academic atmosphere on the scene was strong. After this lecture, students have a deeper understanding and feeling of painting and calligraphy restoration and practice. Thus, the lecture came to a successful conclusion in a happy and relaxed atmosphere.