The Restorient studio provides a specialist environment for the conservation and restoration of Japanese hanging scrolls (kakemono), folding screens (byōbu) and hand scrolls (e-makimono).
We emphasise the use of traditional materials and techniques. The work is carried out at low benches on Japanese mats (tatami), whilst the drying boards (karibari) are used in tensioning paintings and mounting silks during the process of Japanese mounting (hyōgu). These are just two features that reflect the importance the studio places on traditional conservation. The Restorient studio is located in the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen in the old University City of Leiden, The Netherlands.
The studio is dedicated to the conservation of Oriental paintings with a special emphasis on Japanese scrolls and screens.
We employ traditional adhesives including reversible fresh wheat starch paste (shinori), 10 year old aged paste (furunori) and seaweed paste (funori). The various formats all require very specific treatments as paintings on silk are treated differently than those on paper, and therefore each artwork is evaluated individually.
The hanging scroll is a complex multi-layered format that incorporates a variety of hand-made papers, silks and adhesives. The folding screen has papered wooden lattices, paper hinges, silk border strips and a lacquered frame surrounding the paintings. Hand scrolls comprise of a combination of calligraphy and paintings often many metres in length.
Irrespective of the format, consideration must be given to the stability of pigments, the condition of painting supports of paper or silk, historic repairs, as well as returning paintings to a functional order.
Our tools and materials are sourced from specialist suppliers and are of the highest quality available. We work firmly within the long established tradition of scroll and screen mounting in Japan consistent with best conservation practise.