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Fusing and refreshing the memory: Conserving a Chinese lacquered Buddha sculpture in London

Hsu, H-H; Sully, D; (2016) Fusing and refreshing the memory: Conserving a Chinese lacquered Buddha sculpture in London. Studies in Conservation , 61 (sup3) pp. 124-130. 10.1080/00393630.2016.1227119. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the conservation treatment of a lacquered Buddha sculpture undertaken by a Buddhist conservator as part of a postgraduate heritage conservation training programme in London. This creative process selects from a mixture of ideas and practices as a specific response to the people, time, and place of the conservation treatment. Rather than seen as a polarized choice between versions of ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ approaches, the conservation practice is interpreted though a Buddhist understanding of the sculpture in relation to the secular requirements of the current owner. The treatment addressed issues of the physical stability of the object, the reversibility of applied treatments, and the accommodation of Buddhist concepts of ‘completeness’, ‘toplessness’, and ‘no killing’. The result was a Buddha sculpture made into a ‘plausible’ conservation object that represents the compromises necessary at the time and place of the conservation intervention.

Type: Article
Title: Fusing and refreshing the memory: Conserving a Chinese lacquered Buddha sculpture in London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00393630.2016.1227119
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00393630.2016.1227119
Language: English
Additional information: © The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 2016 This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/bync/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Lacquered Buddha, Conservation treatment, Buddhist concepts, Compromise
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549056
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