Making a traditional Chinese hanging scroll

Paper conservation

Senior Conservator Mrs Jin Xian Qiu has spent the last 43 years mastering the traditional Chinese method of mounting a hanging scroll. Watch as she prepares and hangs two works by Chinese artist Qu Leilei – a process that takes a whole year.

The works – ‘Journey’ and ‘Lei Feng’ – are both created using ink on traditional xuan paper and have been donated to the British Museum by the artist.

Qu Leilei (b. 1951) is a calligrapher, painter and author. He was one of the founding members of the Stars Group alongside his contemporaries Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Li Shuang, Zhong Acheng and Ai Weiwei.

The Western Art on Paper team use a variety of techniques to conserve the Prints and Drawings collection as well as papyrus, photographs, banknotes, paper archives. The team includes dedicated conservation mounters, who provide specialist housing for the objects. Our prints and drawings collection has about 50,000 drawings and over 2 million prints, so it takes a lot of work to keep the collection in good condition.