Restoration as “Action Art”


2018 / March

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Lin Min-hsuan /tr. by Scott Williams

SJ Art and Conservation’s ­Guandu, Tai­pei workshop exudes quiet, its calming atmosphere reinforced by its white interior and by the gentle movements and whispers of staff members, who are busily restoring precious cultural artifacts.

The way that Fan Ting-fu, SJ’s owner and chief conservator, gushes (quietly) about his work, you might mistake him for a kid gloriously intoxicated by the arts. But once you observe the great care with which he approaches restoration, it’s easy to see how he became the first Taiwanese conservator to work at the British Museum.

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