Mounting is a special skill for securing a painting, calligraphy work, or a rubbing from stone inscription to a mount or display board. The skill was called "backing and mounting" in ancient times. Chinese paintings are mostly created on fragile Xuan paper or silk. To make the paintings more beautiful, and easier for storage, transportation and collection, mounting is a must.
Mounting includes original mounting and re-mounting. Mounted paintings and calligraphy works are less vulnerable to damage, more beautiful and easier for storing and exhibiting. And re-mounted ancient paintings last a longer life.
To mount a picture, you need to first reinforce it by sticking paper to the back of the work, then edge it with hinging tissues, silk, paper etc and fit spools to make it into shape. There may be different ways of traditional mounting, but the finished works come in three types: hanging scrolls, hand scrolls and albums. The reinforcement of an artwork is the most important procedure of all.
The re-mounting of an old painting is rather difficult. First, you need to remove the work from the old mount; second, clear mildew and mend holes; third, re-mount the work as you would with a new painting.
Chinese mounting has a long history. It started with painting itself. According to historical data, mounting techniques appeared some 1,500 years ago. The data also includes text records of the making of mounting paste, corrosion prevention, the selection of paper and the cleaning, restoring and coloring of old paintings etc.