In 2017, I will be spending much of the year at the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. This is an Asialink Arts Residency Project supported by Creative Victoria, and I am so grateful for this grant which will allow me to spend several months embedded within the TAPTM as the “conservator-in-residence”. Collaborating with their Head of Conservation and Collections Kim Siebert is really a fantastic opportunity — and of course working side-by-side with Taiwanese conservators, on Taiwanese collections, completes the experience.
Our project revolves around textiles conservation, and the incredibly detailed puppet costumes for budaixi (aka potehi) glove puppets. These silk costumes, embroidered with metallic threads, are miniatures of elaborate traditional Chinese costumes, but with the added challenge of so many layers of use and performance. We are planning a publication and an international exhibition — and the costumes in the TAPTM collection needs some TLC in the lead up to being photographed and put on display! This residency a chance for me to share Australian approaches to heritage conservation and community collaboration, while developing my own materials conservation skills.