Collecting: This is the way to do it (KCMA)

2019.12.14 - 2021.11.14 KCMA Galleries 101

Suppose the museum has gained a new work of art through donation or purchase. What next?
After opening the packaging, do we straightaway put a work of art in its new home—the storeroom? Or are we like mother when she buys a new piece of clothing: She opens the packaging, checks it inside and out for loose threads and missing buttons, and make sure that there are no rips and the size is correct. After she is sure there is no problem, she washes it, folds it, and puts it away appropriately in the dresser, depending on whether it is to be worn in the summer or winter. Which of these procedures do you think an art museum should follow when collecting a work of art?
A museum is the custodian of its works of art, and it takes a lot of effort to ensure that its art works are kept in the best possible condition. First, after a work enters the museum, it must be recorded, inspected, cleaned, and have its weight and dimensions measured. When a work goes into the storeroom, it must be classified systematically and put on a shelf in the proper position—an oil painting shouldn’t rub shoulders with sculptures, or be casually put in a corner. Ceramics and textile items, which are easily damaged on soiled by dust, must be put in protective boxes to ensure their safety.
Why do works have to be inspected and cleaned? These are precautionary measures. Artists use many kinds of materials in their works, such as "found" wood, paper, and recycled items. Because these materials may harbor pests, if they are hastily put in the storeroom, they may pose a hazard to other works. As a consequence, if any suspected pests are discovered during the inspection process, action must be taken to eliminate the pests. This is one of tasks of a custodian, who seeks to reduce risk factors to a minimum, and ensure that works do not get sick.
However, in the case of very old works, the pitiless passage of time will cause pictures to become grimy, materials to deteriorate, colors to fade, and may even result in holes, scratches, and scribbled marks. What to do in these situations? When the museum collects damaged but important works, it must perform assessment and restoration. At that time, the physician of works and artifacts—the conservator—must play his or her role, and the conservator's two chief tasks are to delay the works' aging and ensure that they are kept in a healthy condition.
This exhibition—"Collecting: This is the way to do it"—gives the public a look at the museum's collecting tasks. Covering the aspects of classification, recording, inspection, preservation, and conservation, this exhibition uses games and hands-on activities to show people the museum's little-known behind-the-scenes collecting work. Be sure to bring your curiosity for your excursion into our inner sanctum!
Participating Artists
Huang Ling-hsing; Chen Hung-yu; Tsai Kuen-lin; Cheng Ching-yang; Liu Wan-lin; Tafong Kati

Supported by Ministry of Culture; Bureau of Cultural Affairs Kaohsiung City Government
Organized by Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
Appointed Deformaldehyde Coating Sponsor by HOPAX

Exhibition Supervisor ∣ Chang Yuan-shuen
Curation team  ∣ Hung Ching-chan; Ying Kuang-chin
Administrative Cooperation ∣  Chen Chong-you
Exhibition spatial design    ∣  U.U Design
Exhibition graphic design   ∣  U.U Design
Logotype design  ∣ Folder