When famous paintings gets old with age, they needed to be checked restored regularly. The Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics here at NTNU is like a health care center for art works, which is specialized in preserving the paintings that worn out because of time or other factors. The center has rescued paintings from Pablo Picasso, Renoir Pierre Auguste, the portrait of an ancestor of one of IPO company owners in Taiwan and other important manuscript owned by the government.
The Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics situated at NTNU secretly, only those who work there know the location. The space is roughly 330 square meters and enjoys a controlled temperature and humidity 24 hours and a double surveillance system, just like the museum. All the lights are UV free. “UV is the light that ages the cultural relics” said by Director Chang.
Recently, the center just finished the project of a portrait commissioned by an owner of an IPO company. After a year’s hard word, the portrait regained the color. After the announcement of banning the burning of incense and paper money, Hsing Tian Kong has sent some important cultural objects to the center to be fixed. National Cheng Kung University also sent the gown of their first president Wakatsuki Michitaka here. The Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics is so popular that that are taking reservations for 2018.
Director Chang pointed out that preservation and restoration work of cultural relics requires the knowledge of science, history and art. The center not only work for the fine arts collections of NTNU, but also to accept objects from major museums and collectors, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs. They have signed confidentiality agreements so that the projects aren’t allowed to go public.
According to President Chang Kuo En, restoration is a work that pay respect to history. Taiwan locates in Asia pacific that is humid and hot, making it hard to preserve cultural relics. Since 10 years ago, NTNU started to rescue the classic arts that needs the combination of technology and art.
Art restoration is not a popular major. While the market is petite, this position is important in that the restorer can rescue and save the important cultural objects. NTNU only accept one applicant every year, but we have an International job market. There are alumni working as professionals at the Metropolitan Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art as well as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Director Chang said that it’s pleasant to see that now Taiwanese art restorers are working in Western museums.