An Unbroken History: Conserving East Asian Work of Art and Heritage-ICC 2014 Hong Kong Congress

IIC is delighted to present the 25th biennial IIC Congress and, for the first time, IIC is holding this essential international conservation event in a sub-tropical region – which brings its own, very particular problems of preventive conservation. The 2014 Congress will be held at Hong Kong’s City Hall, situated in the very heart of the city

An Unbroken History: Conserving East Asian Works of Art and Heritage

Objects of art and heritage generally reveal their significance through different senses: their form and appearance; the messages and stories they contain; the knowledge and information hidden within them. Hence, conservation efforts are meant not only to assist the study of the history and the making of our heritage but also to help us to appreciate and to revivify its beauties and merits. Each form and artefact of East Asian art and heritage, in addition to assuming a unique style and nature, carries an important meaning from and testimony to the culture and history of the people and the region that created them.

The IIC 2014 Hong Kong Congress will provide a platform to bring together a wide variety of views and dialogues to address the various areas of work, study and analysis involved in the conservation of East Asian art and heritage. It will focus on how conservation helps to retain or recover and then communicate the messages that East Asian art and heritage carry, and will address how the history or meaning of this art and heritage affects the decision-making processes and course of conservation treatments. Different conservation approaches, and hence methodologies, will be discussed and examined, and will link in to the unveiling of traditional craftsmanship, manufacturing materials and patterns of use or previous restorations. With advances in technology, an increasingly efficient flow of information and a growing awareness of conservation ethics, more specific and sustainable ways to treat art and heritage, as compared to traditional approaches, will also be explored.

These different approaches to conservation may be applied to the treatment of a wide range of objects and materials: scroll paintings and calligraphy; prints; textiles and costumes; wall paintings; sculpture; furniture and lacquer wares; jewellery, ceramics and metalwork of all varieties pertinent to the region. The conservation of the built heritage, including historical and archaeological sites, monuments and historic buildings with distinctive oriental features is an important aspect of conservation in the region. The intangible cultural heritage of a community, its traditions, customs and rituals, its music, folk arts and crafts, has a value that is incalculable, but it may wither and diminish inconspicuously, unable to compete with the pressures of the strident modern world, if we are unaware of its importance. Innovative approaches and methods are required if we are to preserve the relics and objects which are inseparable parts of the intangible cultural heritage and complement efforts in its preservation.

Outline format

The languages of the congress are English and Chinese. Simultaneous interpretation from English to Chinese (Putonghua) and vice versa will be made available at the main Congress venue. The Congress printed publications will be in Chinese and English.

• Technical programme part 1: 22nd , 23rd September ( Monday & Tuesday) & 24th September (Wednesday morning)
• Cultural Tours: 24th September (Wednesday afternoon)
• Technical programme part 2: 25th & 26th September (Thursday & Friday)

A full programme of social events is planned including three evening receptions at Hong Kong’s major museums and cultural venue, a Congress Dinner in authentic Cantonese style at the famous and splendidly decorated ‘Jumbo’ Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen plus post-Congress excursions to Lantau Island (Hong Kong), Macau, or Kaiping (mainland China) after the Congress.

A special feature of the 2014 Congress will be a discussion session devoted to environmental standards for the safekeeping of cultural heritage objects and the management of environmental conditions within museums and other buildings in a responsible and sustainable way, bearing in mind the need to reduce the carbon footprint of museums and their activities.

There will be a poster display, including the familiar student poster section, and a trade fair with leading suppliers and service providers in the field.

While parallel meetings will be held for members of the IIC Fellowship, representatives of IIC Regional Groups, student participants and grant recipients during the Congress week, there will also be a number of free thematic presentations offered by the sponsors over the lunch breaks.

What registration brings you

The registration fee covers attendance throughout the event, including morning and afternoon refreshments every day of the technical programme, attendance at the evening receptions, participation in the mid-week (Wednesday) cultural tours to experience the cultural scenes of Hong Kong, the printed Congress Preprints plus special congress souvenirs. There will be an additional fee for the Congress Dinner and as well as for the post-congress excursions.

Those of you who are accompanying participants at the Congress are welcome to join the receptions at no cost as well as the Congress dinner and post-congress excursions at the same cost of the delegate. The mid-week (Wednesday) cultural tours will be limited to congress delegates only.

The registration fee is discounted for current members of IIC; consider joining IIC now, to save that money and get all the other benefits of membership straight away.

Register now!

You can register easily at the IIC web-site: We look forward to seeing you there!