Lit Sung Goong Temple, Cairns Cadcai Temple Drum

PROJECT DATE : 2018-2020
project
Lit Sung Goong Temple, Cairns Cadcai Temple Drum
client
Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc
services
Furniture Conservation, Objects Conservation, Painting Conservation

Overview

Founded in 1886/1887 in Cairns, the Lit Sung Goong (LSG) Temple fell into disrepair in the 1950s and was dismantled in 1964. Its collection of various Chinese artefacts was salvaged by the Chinese community. Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc. (CADCAI) is the custodian of the Lit Sung Goong Temple collection. A rare example of the material culture of Chinese Australian religious practices, it is one of the few tangible links to Cairns' historic Chinatown.

CADCAI enlisted ICS for an assessment of the LSG collection. The Temple drum was in very poor condition, requiring immediate conservation treatment to both slow its deterioration and enable its display.

Condition

  • Timber spins detached and warped
  • Skin detached from the drum, with areas of decay and warping; delamination and considerable loss of paint on the skin
  • Metal fastenings are corroded
  • External painted finish is flaking with considerable losses
  • Surface dust, dirt and debris

Treatment

Skins

  • Surface cleaned – brush vacuumed, swab cleaned, sponge cleaned
  • Stabilised painted surface with Methyl Cellulose
  • Flattened and humidified skins
  • Stretched skins
  • Lined the skins with Japanese tissue paper
  • Stretched and fitted the skins over the drum opening

Drum

  • Surface dry cleaned
  • Stabilised surface paint, where possible
  • Applied a protective varnish
  • Stabilised corrosion on metal fastenings, where possible
  • Staves were reshaped where possible, coloured balsa wood was used to fill areas of loss
  • Installed skins over drum opening

project
Lit Sung Goong Temple, Cairns Cadcai Temple Drum
client
Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc
services
Furniture Conservation, Objects Conservation, Painting Conservation
Before treatment, drum
During treatment, skins

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