1.1.1 Met the Ancient Painting
Mao-Long Lin was born in the town of Liu-Gui in Gao Hsiung City. During his graduation trip, he went to the National Palace Musuem for the first time. In high school, Mao- Long Lin was in the art class; he was very interested in painting. Mao- Long Lin integrated his interest with his speciality. As a result, Mao-Long Lin started to develope his career in ancient painting restoring.
Mao-Long Lin was a specialist at the mounting department of National Palace Musuem (NPM). He had never thought he would be working there.
1.1.2 Technique Inheritance
Mao-Long learned his techniques from his masters, Zong-Run Lu from Japanese Han-He Hall and Gong-Tong Zheng, a restorer of ancient paintings. Zong-Run Lu, who was a Japan travel guide writer and expert in the restoration of ancient paintings, had once told Lin, "You don't have an advanced educational backround. Given that, if you don't have better skills in your profession, there's nothing left for you to do but to farm."This had motivated Lin to keep improving his skills. He started his career from being an assistant. Then, he did a little more advanced work. Starting in the forth year, he got an opportunity to restore paintings as an individual. In the end, he completed two precious ancient paintings called "Soy Milk Seller of Ming"and "Fisherman of Song."
1.1.3 Experience in National Palace Museum & Hardships During Venturing
Mao-Long Lin was once an assistance in the National Palace Musuem. He mentioned how academic backround is important to the position in National Palace Musuem, "It's really hard for me, a technician without a proper educational backround, to be promoted to a higher position in this place."In 2006, he got a chance to leave his job in the National Palace Musuem and started a studio call "Hall of Long."However, his bussiness didn't start out well. There was a time when he was under a heavy debt and lived under the pain of bereavement of his father. Though he struggled, he had never thought of giving up.
Now Mao-Long Lin only accepts cases from famous artists living in Taiwan and China, and still, he has a waitlist that spans for half an year. Accumulating clients such as collectors and musuems, Lin gradually develops a different style from that of mounting stores. Not including his investments in artworks, he earns around 1,500,000 NTD to 2,000,000 NTD annually.
1.1.4 Hall of Long
Telephone: 0925-632-068 0978-556-788
Startup cost: 700,000 NTD
Input cost: 3,000,000 NTD to 4,000,000 NTD
Annual revenue: 1,500,000 NTD to 2,000,000 NTD
Repair expense: different price with different situation. About 200,000 NTD to 300,000 NTD per artwork.
Before our telephone interview with Mao-Long Lin, we have orginized all the questions and mailed it to him to prepare the interview. These are the interview details.
1. Restoring art works wasn't a popular career back then, what makes you want to learn this set of skills?
This technique is related to what I learned in my high school art class, moreover, I myself is an art person. I got the opportunity to work on this by chance and it aroused my interest for it, i think it is the combination of my hobby and talent.
2. We understand that what you have learned in your high school art class gave you the background in learning paint restore. Under what kind of circumstances that you start to get involved in this field?
Once, I saw an article about ancient painting in the history museum, and the author of the article was later my master who came from the Shanghai museum.
3. Did your master gave you any mentally influence?
My master told me " No matter the value of the works; if you have decided to repair it, you have to try your best to do it."
4. How long have you been in this career? Have you ever encountered any difficulties?
It's been longer than 15 years. Yes. Though some painting's structure looks very strong, it became muddy once it touches water. The only way to fix it is to set in the front side.
5. Since you started to learn till now you're treating it as your job, did your family ever tried to stop you or convinced you to give up?
They did not support me at all because I spent too much time on this and didn't have a nice income. However, it's still my hobby, so I did not give up at that time.
6. After all those dissuasion, did you ever think of walking away from this or even giving up?
I did thought of giving up and to start a business because my family are all having their own business. Being a restorer who only has such low income, I always doubted myself. Strongly doubted! My parents also expected me to have a better life. Even though being a restorer is really hard, I still persevered.
7. In all of your works, which one left an enduring impress on your life? What does it mean to you?
The most meaningful work is my first work. At that time, I felt so excited and happy. All of the fatigue just disappeared.
8. What were your thoughts and attitude when you're repairing the paintings? What would you like to convey to the viewers?
I would like to convey to every viewer the beauty of visual arts. Giving them new life to make the presentation the most complete look.
9. What gave you the opportunity to work in the National Palace Museum? What motivated you to take this heavy responsibility?
The first mativation is to improve my skills and to open my sight. A Japanese teacher, Mr. Lu, introduced me to Mr. Lin. Then, I recommended myself to the National Palace Museum.
10. Do you have any idea about the inheritance of the skill?
Yes. I want more people to know about restoring paintings and join this career so that more precious art works could be preserved and seen by our descendents.
11.What is the most difficult part in inheriting these techniques?
The first problem is about teachers because most of teachers would not like to share or pass down their skills to others. Second, the material is very hard to find. It is not easy to find the right material.
12. Do you know any group or people in Taiwan who had learned the restore skills?
Actually, there are a lot of colleges that's offering classes of restoring techniques. For example, art college, art department of National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei National University of the Arts, and National Yunlin University of Science and Technology.
13. What is the most significant ability that is necessary to these techniques?
First, you need to possess the ability of Chromatics, furthermore, is the talent for art.
14. Would you discuss knowledges about skills periodically with your peers?
Beside teachers, I scarcely have opportunities to communicate with peers.
15. In the process of establishing Hall of Long, did you encounter any difficulties?
At the pioneering day, the major problem is the lack of costomers. Moreover, I was too young during that time, it's hard for me to gain costumers' trust. However, after two months, the condition turned better. Also thanks to the owner of Chi Mei Museum, Mr. Pan, assisted us for the developing of the workshop.
16. Could you describe your occupation and process of learning this skill in one word?
Persistent and consistent
Yi Jing, Pan. "Calligraphy restorer's 20 years endeavor lead to success." http://goo.gl/5w4qSW 2015.10.23
Mao long, Lin. " Long zhi Tang" https://goo.gl/2k56Qo 2015.10.30