Conference Papers Presentation

TOPIC ABSTRACT
New Changes and Challenges of Museums in a New Era: Working Together to Promote Exchanges and Mutual Learning among Civilizations by Mr. Shan Wei, Deputy Director, National Museum of China Asian civilizations have created brilliant chapters in the history of world civilizations, and the world civilization is greatly enriched because of Asia. In today's society, the development of museums is changing with each passing day. The museum management has become more advanced. Museums are providing more diversified exhibitions and friendlier services, colorful cultural creative products, and diversified mutual exchanges. Meanwhile, rapid development also has many problems and challenges, such as unbalanced and inadequate development, insufficient funding, and sharp increase in attendance. To overcome these problems and respond to these challenges, the Asian museum community must join hands. We can cooperate closely in various fields, including organizing academic conferences, having exhibition and personnel exchanges, sharing technical expertise, and combating smuggling and trafficking of cultural relics. The National Museum of China is willing to work together with museums from other Asian countries to achieve mutual benefit and mutual learning, to foster joint development of Asian museums and to contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Museum Nasional Indonesia as a Unifying Place for the Nation Through Collections and Public Programs by Dyah Sulistyani, Head of Promotion and Amperawan Marpaung, Head of Partnership, National Museum of Indonesia Indonesia is one of the multiculturalism countries in the world. Multiculturalism is a term used to describe one's view of the variety of life in the world. In multiculturalism, people are asked to see and respond to differences, multiculturalism also invites people to see cultural diversity in the perspective of equality, meaning that there is no higher culture than other cultures. In multiculturalism there should also not be discrimination against a particular ethnic community because that would be the seed of division and conflict. Tolerance means an attitude that is willing to respect and accept differences with other people or groups. Whereas empathy is a state in which the mentality that makes a person identify or feel himself is in the same state of feeling or thought with other people / groups. This tolerance and empathy is very important to be developed in the life of a plural society such as in Indonesia. For this reason, Museum Nasional Indonesia should be able to preserve the culture of our beloved Indonesian nation.
Towards a Better Understanding of Asian Cultures: Challenges Faced by the Tokyo National Museum’s Asian Gallery by Mr Katsuki Genichiro, Senior Manager of Asian Art, Tokyo National Museum

This paper provides a glimpse into the efforts made by the Tokyo National Museum’s Asian Gallery to enhance its visitors’ understanding of Asian cultures. The Asian Gallery, which is one of six separate buildings on the Tokyo National Museum premises, exhibits art and artifacts from countries and regions in Asia, excluding Japan. It may be rare globally for a national museum to maintain a separate building exclusively for exhibiting Asian art. And this may explain why the number of visitors to this Gallery has not been large compared with the numbers received at the other galleries.

The Asian Gallery reopened in 2013 after extensive renovation, and its exhibition environment was greatly improved. For the reopening, object labels and explanatory panels were shown in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. While this multilingual effort was quite progressive at the time, it did not increase the number of visitors to this Gallery for the first few years. From 2014, in an attempt to enhance visitors’ understanding of Asian cultures, an event titled “Journey through Asia at the Tokyo National Museum” was initiated through a joint effort of curators and educators. This multifaceted event at the Asian Gallery has become an annual highlight each autumn. During this event, we display relevant objects and plan special events related to a chosen theme in an effort to better connect visitors with the exhibits.

Initially, the annual event was not as comprehensive as it is today; its program and style gradually took shape over the years. Owing to our continuous efforts, the Asian Gallery has seen an increase in visitors in recent years. However, this is not our ultimate goal. Our most important mission is to enhance our visitors’ understanding of Asian cultures, and the Tokyo National Museum will continue striving to achieve this objective.

Mongolian Museum on the Way of the Progress: Some Experiences and Achievements by Mr B. Uuganbayar, Curator, National Museum of Mongolia The National Museum of Mongolia was established in 1924. This museum holds tens of thousands of precious objects related to Mongolian history and culture. Around 1 million years ago, the first humans began inhabiting this vast area. Throughout this long history, Mongolians and their ancestors have created a unique and beautiful culture heritage. Through this article, we aim to showcase some achievements of our museum, including the latest exhibition organized in and outside Mongolia. Especially, we will highlight the joint exhibition projects co-organized with Chinese, Korean and Danish museums. We will also talk about the barcoding project implemented and supported by US institutions.
Social Unity through Art, Culture and History: The Museum Challenges by Ms Mandakini Shrestha, Museologist, Department of Archaeology, National Museum of Nepal

Nepal is a land locked country between two big countries in Asia: India and China. It is known throughout the world as the home to the world's highest peak, Mount Everest and as the birthplace of the light of the Asia Lord Buddha.. Geographically it is divided into three parts including the Himalayan (High Mountain) region, mountain (hilly) region and plain (low land) region. With the diversity in the geographical structure it is also rich in ethno cultural diversity. Regarding act, culture and indigenous perspectives Nepal is termed as ''a garden of various tribes''. A recent survey carried out by the Government shows that Nepal has 125 ethnographic groups and 102 linguistic groups. Including the groups many are indigenous minority and extinction.

Museum itself is not a culture. Rather, protecting art, culture, tradition and history, museum plays vital role of accumulating past and present to construct prosperous future. Museum collaborates for an incredible role of flourishing knowledge and information on culture and civilization by the means of acquisition, conservation, preservation and exhibition of objects of tangible and intangible value reflecting the then  society, economy, religion, culture, politics etc, created by our ancestors using their brilliance, contemplation, skill and technique. Hence, museum is known as a mirror of the society. A mirror neither exaggerates nor squishes.  Manifesting the truth on the basis of proves through the authentic study and research is the purpose of museum.

Cultural Identity- Preservation and Promotion: Role And Challenges of the Vietnam National Museum Of History by Ms. Dang Thi Hien, Curator of Education and Community Division, Vietnam National Museum of History

Globalization is an objective trend, which has been strongly influencing every aspect of the nations’ social life, especially in the culture. This is a great opportunity for us to approach human advancement. However, a nation will no longer be itself if it loses its cultural and national identity. Throughout the length of historical development, Vietnamese cultural identity has always been preserved and developed by Vietnamese generations. Besides, Vietnam always approaches the quintessence of human cultures in order to enrich the cultural and national identity. These values build up Vietnamese culture with characteristic “unified in diversity”. The Vietnam National Museum of History preserves cultural heritages, which plays an important role in the process of carrying out the task of preserving and promoting the nation’s traditional values.

Being aware of that important role, the Museum has been promoting all activities, especially activities of exhibition, education and communication. It facilitates the way for the public to approach the Museum to achieve deeply knowledge of cultural and national identity. However, the Museum has challenges associated with the negative effects of globalization and the great number of cultural flows that harms the nation's customs. While technology 4.0 has developed rapidly, the Museum is unable to keep up with the development trend because of its backwardness. In addition, the Museum has not been received enough investment to carry out museum’s tasks. To perform its role effectively, it is necessary for the Museum to focus on the investment of human resources (professional knowledge, skills…) to apply achievements of technology 4.0 in Museum work flexibly; to strengthen cooperation with domestic and foreign museums, thereby presenting the Vietnamese cultural quintessence and learning the development model of other museums.

Mutual Understanding and Respect: Role of the National Museums of Korea in Multicultural Society by Hyewon Park, Associate Curator, National Museum of Korea

Today, more and more foreigners are staying in Korea for a long time or even acquire Korean citizenship. This phenomenon is accelerated with the increase of foreign workers and marriage immigrants. Multicultural society is something Koreans have rarely experienced in the past. Accordingly, people need to learn how to live harmoniously with people from different cultural backgrounds. Museums are called to respond to such needs. Cultural diversity education is not a new kind of program in museums. The National Museum of Korea has run various education programs for better cultural understanding for both Koreans and non-Koreans. However, these educational programs are mostly focused on activities for small groups, especially those who are active enough to book and participate in special programs. 

Two Examples of a New Approach

1) Culture Discovery Box Project – National Folk Museum of Korea 

The National Folk Museum of Korea has run a project titled ‘Culture Discovery Box’ since 2010, which aims to foster understanding of cultural diversity among children who will live in the multicultural era. To this end, various hands-on materials are organized into boxes so that children can learn about other cultures through activities using them. Moreover, the Culture Discovery Boxes are lent to schools and libraries where teachers and educators want to use them, so that they can do the cultural diversity education themselves without having to visit the museum.

2) Special Exhibitions of World Cultures – National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea has had many cultural exchanges with museums around the world. It allowed the National Museum of Korea to hold many special exhibitions of world cultures. The exhibitions offer the general public the opportunity to appreciate and respect the history and art of various countries and civilizations. The exhibitions cover not only European countries which have many popular tourist destinations from early on, but also Asian countries which have more and more exchanges with Korea.

The development of transportation and communication has brought the world closer than ever. Korea, long been a homogeneous country, is also gradually changing into a multicultural society. In this environment, mutual understanding and respect are the key to peaceful coexistence and prosperity. In this new era, museums should be willing and sincere in their role for a harmonious society.

Talking Object Seeing Through Eyes by Haryany Mohamad, Director Penang State Museum Board

Talking Object; Seeing through Young Eyes is the museum embracing its new role as cultural hub and breaking away from the tradition of being mere static institution. It is an object-based programme actively connecting museum collections and groups, in this instance, the youth. To reach young audiences, museum is redefining what we offer. The programme engages youth and museum staffs with objects and ideas, knowledge and debate that can arise from looking closely at museum collections. Through creative exploration, it deepens participants’ engagement and establishes stronger links between audience development and collection interpretation. What it also proven is that engaging young people can be done simply via human touch sans technology use. Aided by curators, the youth creates their own fresh response to the object and its history, bringing the object’s stories to life. They become the essential component in re-visiting museum collections and sparking new conversations. Working with partner museums encourages greater youth participation from different backgrounds and involves diverse museum collections, which allow for cross cultural experiences.

Talking Object; Seeing Through Young Eyes kicked off in July 2018 with exhibition and tour in Malaysian to last till end of 2019.

U Thong: Concept and Approaches to Cultural Hub in the Digital World by Duangkamon Kamalanon, Curator, Senior Professional Level, Museum Promotion and Development Divisions, Fine Arts Department, Thailand
 

The ancient city of U Thong was surveyed by historians and archaeologists since 1933. According to the survey many artifacts telling the history of U Thong city were found, in 1959 a rough building was built as a temporary museum aiming for collecting ancient objects from ancient city of U Thong. Later in 1961 the Fine Arts Department additionally investigated and renovated archaeological sites in the ancient U Thong city; as a result, large amount of ancient artifacts in Dvaravati Period (7th – 11th century CE) were recovered. The Fine Arts Department, with an emphasis on the significance of the cultural heritage of the nation, launched the project to establish a permanent museum to collect, conserve, identify and exhibit the story of U Thong ancient city through the artifacts and the remaining of the ancient monuments from U Thong ancient city.

The primary mission of U Thong National Museum is to preserve cultural objects related to the ancient city of U Thong; consequently, a large number of ancient objects from any archaeological sites in U Thong city were collected. Current numbers of archaeological evidences entry in the museum are more than 3,000 pieces. Artifacts related to archaeological history of U Thong ancient city were selected and presented through a permanent exhibition. Major concept of U Thong National Museum is not only to preserve and maintain antiquities and art objects found in U Thong ancient city, but also to be a cultural hub for local community.
 
To achieve above mentioned missions, the museum provides the appropriate activities for any target group of the museum in order to deliver the knowledge and experience of long lasting conservation of Thai cultural heritage. Those relevant activities would strengthen the museum network among local communities, government offices as well as private organizations. Finally, the main goal of U Thong national Museum is to become the unique cultural hub of community.