Beijing, Aug 19, 2020 (Issuewire.com) - The Konger Photographic Conservation Centre was opened by Yue Li on May 1, 2020, in Beijing, China. The centre's aim is to bridge the gap in knowledge of photographic conservation between China and the rest of the world. The Centre has a team of professionally trained and experienced conservators and is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of photographic materials and equipment through the promotion of public education and awareness. The Centre supports the preservation of collections, furthering the study, and promoting care practices.
Yue Li studied photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of the Arts London (UAL), where she learned historical conservation processes. She also studied the history of photography and learned how different photographic processes need different approaches to conservation, preservation, and storage. As well as existing as an art form in its own right, photography reflects scientific advances, social issues, and changes and upheavals in the political landscape. Yue's experience as a photographer transcends borders and includes documentary work in the Chernobyl reactor no-go zones, and as a war photographer on the front lines in Syria. This work was risky and difficult as well as being emotionally testing, but her determination and perseverance made sure that she saw out these assignments to their conclusion, to learn about contentious issues and conflict zones and to make her a better photographer. Yue Li's photography has been the subject of two exhibitions in Beijing.
In the final year of her studies, Yue traveled extensively between the UK and China in order to pursue creative opportunities with other artists and collectors. She then studied for an MA in Curating and Collection, aiming to learn more about photographic curation. Her fascination with the subject of photographic conservation, preservation, and storage led her to spend a further two years studying and practicing basic and advanced conservation skills. It was this that led her to set up Konger Arts and open China's first photographic conservation centre in Beijing, and she developed strong connections with many of China's archives, galleries, and museums. By combining the results of personal surveys with information from working visits and a literature review, she gained a strong impression and a great deal of knowledge of European and American approaches to storing photographic collections and learned how western photographic curators cope with preservation issues. Her BA and MA courses taught her a great deal about the technical, creative, and theoretical aspects of photography and conservation, and she continues to enjoy working with cameras, films, lenses, and people involved in all levels of the photographic process. She has now begun to develop a strong interest in China's unique photographic materials and methods.
Her research focuses on how to take the preservation techniques she has learned in the UK to China, where she plans to explore the techniques of political photographers in China and their unique process of printing color photographs from black and white negatives during the 1960s and early 1970s. Her research will trace the history of the dye transfer process and look at the way it was used during the final years of Mao's leadership and the results it produced. The analysis will include addressing the technical principles and the materials used in this original process. Equally importantly, the research looks at ways of preserving and curating this record before China loses the knowledge and the results of its use. Western photographic conservation processes are generally superior to their Chinese counterparts, and Yue Li's research will look at ways of preserving Chinese photography using adaptations of western techniques to provide new ways of assessing Chinese photographic output and protecting it against deterioration through correct conservation, preservation, and storage.
Source :The Konger Photographic Conservation Centre
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