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How to upkeep artworks

Many art lovers tend to focus on the pieces they love, but they often overlook the upkeep process of the artworks. In fact, maintaining proper upkeep on the works can, firstly, preserve the piece’s original form for as long as possible, preventing wear and tear, and, secondly, maintain the value of the original piece which may increase over time. If the piece is kept well, this could even help to elevate the value of the piece. Similarly, a photographer would use special carrying cases to protect his cameras and lenses, so that his equipment can last for as long as possible. Thus, we should treat our creations with meticulous care, as we do with other valuables. 

Below are a few tips to help with the upkeep and maintenance of artwork:

1. Avoid long periods of direct sunlight

Placing pieces under direct sunlight for long periods of time can cause the colours to fade and the paper/canvas to yellow. If the piece must be somewhere under direct sun, use UV protective glass to shield the artwork.

2. Humidity
The weather in Hong Kong is notoriously humid, which can cause art pieces to grow moldy or yellow. Avoid hanging art pieces near bathrooms or kitchens. When the weather is especially humid, you should use a dehumidifier or air conditioning to help lower humidity. 

3. Temperature control
Do not hang art pieces directly in front of air conditioning, and avoid subjecting pieces to especially cold temperatures, as condensation can form between the piece and the glazing (frame of the glass) due to the temperature difference when the air conditioning is turned off. If condensation appears, the artwork may stick to the glazing and risk breakage when removing from the frame in the future. It is best to keep artwork where temperature is constant. 

It is best to keep temperature and humidity constant. The temperature difference should not exceed 23 degrees celsius, and the humidity difference should not exceed by more than 55%. Relatively low temperatures and humidity can extend the longevity of the art piece. 

4. Taking care of hanging pieces
Ensure that the screws and hooks used to hang artwork are strong enough to endure the weight of the piece to prevent it from collapsing.

5. Taking care of pieces in storage
Oil paintings stored without protective film: These pieces should be kept away from constant handling and from bumping into other pieces. Wrap similar sized pieces together with silicone protective materials and store them in vertical storage units. Ensure that smaller pieces do not lean on larger pieces, as the extra weight could damage the piece. Unwrapped pieces should be stored in an art cabinet.

Paper artworks to be framed: Do not place paper pieces on the floor for long periods of time, as the humidity from the floor can damage the artwork.

Unframed paper artworks: Unframed paper works can be rolled up and stored in a poster tube, or stored flat in an art cabinet. Dehumidifying pearls can be placed inside poster tubes or art cabinets to keep the artwork from getting damp.

Sources:

Photo from: Background psd created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com
Photo from: Frame photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com
photo from: https://www.pinterest.at/pin/860257966292140202/
photo from: https://www.art-boards.com/

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