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MUSEUM International N°237/8

Este elemento no está disponible en Español. Está disponible actualmente en Inglés, Francés.
Ancient China, New Museums


Preface and Editorial

Chap 1: Sharing World Trends

Chapter 2: Museums in China: identity and diversity

Compre este número a  Blackwell Publishing

Museums and the Protection of Cultural Intangible Heritage, Pan Shouyong

Museums have existed in China for over 100 years. There are now over 40,000 museum specialists working in China, all of whom can contribute to the protection and dissemination of China’s intangible heritage. This article examines recent efforts by the government to protect intangible heritage, including the creation of symposia, legislative programmes and a protection centre, as well as the role played by universities in disseminating knowledge on folk culture heritage or intangible heritage. It discusses the role museums can play in protecting intangible anthropological heritage following the signing of the Shanghai Charter and the issues raised by the recent national inventory of intangible cultural heritage items. The loss of intangible heritage through market exploitation is treated alongside core questions regarding the basis for heritage protection. Finally, the article takes a look at the recent development of eco-museums in China, which emphasize not only conservation and participation, but foreground fundamental questions of the ownership of intangible heritage. Top


The Role of Natural History Museums in the Promotion of Sustainable Development, Dong Yuqin

This article examines the challenges faced by natural history museums from different countries within the context of globalization, particularly in the light of the recent call of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) for ‘museums as instruments of social and cultural development’ to advance social and cultural development and promote harmony between humanity and nature. It draws upon domestic museums’ recent experiences and combines urban and business ecology, futurology and sociology from the perspective of globalization, to examine the global ecological crisis and the opportunities as well as challenges faced by museums in protecting biodiversity. It argues that natural history museums should keep up with the times through active participation in the protection of their own country’s and locality’s biodiversity   just as they would contribute towards that of historical and cultural heritage. It also underlines the importance of establishing visits to natural history museums as a meaningful tradition to be transmitted between generations, and appeals to museums professionals to join forces to help safeguard the environment and humanity’s natural heritage. Top


The Concept of the Ecomuseum and its Practice in China, Su Donghai

The theory of the ecomuseum is a new concept derived from reforms effected in the international museum world. This concept, combined with new museological ideas has fundamentally marked the active transformation of museums. This article explains the background to the period over which the ecomuseum concept emerged, the motivations of the founders of the ecomuseum movement and includes a brief introduction to the latest developments in the ecomuseum concept. The causes behind China’s ecomuseum movement, its development and present status are analysed and discussed to provide insights into Chinese museum reform and its developmental trends. Top


The Development of Private Museums in China, Song Xiangguang

China has a long tradition of cultural and art collections. Towards the end of the 1980s, certain collectors called for the establishment of a new kind of museum that would enable a wider appreciation of private collections. Recent years have also seen enthusiasm on the part of businessmen for the possibilities museum ownership offers – principally, offering a platform for the promotion of enterprise culture and the influence of business on society, as well representing an opportunity to contribute to society. The Chinese Government responded positively to the idea of philanthropists and private enterprises opening and running museums. In the document Management Methodology in Museums it outlined details for those wishing to set up privately-owned museums. It actively nurtured the development of private museums as a way of enriching the socio-cultural life of the general public and involving more people in the preservation of cultural heritage.  Top


Dialectical Speculations on the Scientific and Technological Aspects of Cultural Heritage Protection, Shan Jixiang

This article discusses cultural heritage conservation trends with regard to the state of science and technology in China. It analyses major issues urgently waiting to be addressed or arising from the academic frontier. It proposes that appropriate handling of the relationships between emergency rescue and preventive protection, specialized research and comprehensive research, general research and specific task-based research and between technological innovation and propagation, is crucial to the sustainable conservation of cultural heritage. In this particular light, the article outlines new measures and directions for further discussion. Top


Developments in China’s Digitalized Museums, Li Wenchang

In this article the question of the digitalization of China’s museums covers both the digitalization of museums and digital museums. It looks at how different national museums have engaged with digitalizing their collections and how the process has given fresh impetus to these institutions such as the Dunhuang Research Institute. The article examines in detail the digitalization efforts made by institutions such as the Capital Museum, as well as looking at the involvement of commercial enterprises, government departments and universities. It also explains current problems and challenges deriving from arbitrary development without long-term vision. The article proposes strategies for tackling some of these issues and examines the prospects for future self-sustaining development. Top


A Survey of Approaches of Access to Museums in China, Cai Qin

Admission fees present an obstacle both to museums aiming to provide better public value and services, and to their own self-development. Free access to museums is a long-standing practice and an important issue within the global museum community. The most direct result of free access is an increase in visitor numbers, which can in turn help promote the development and management of museums. Free access also significantly helps to improve the services of public cultural facilities as well as the development of public-interest cultural undertakings. However, it has resulted in certain problems that require immediate action. Free access is not a simple practice but a complex, systematic project. Not all museums should be required to open free of charge. Some can adopt different and effective measures for open access at various levels, such as free entry to certain areas or during allocated time segments, low entrance prices, free tickets, donated tickets, and so on. Top


The Qing Palace: From a Forbidden City to a Public Heritage, Guo Changhong

The Qing Palace Museum or Forbidden City occupies a unique status among Chinese world heritage. Apart from being a cultural heritage site, it is the country’s largest museum, boasting a diverse collection of artworks. Its vicissitudes have reflected changes in the country at large over the past eighty years and echo shifts in attitudes towards cultural heritage. Therefore, to analyse aspects of the museum is to study, from a strictly archeological perspective, the evolution of the concept of cultural heritage within the historical context of China. Top


A New Concept: ‘Capital, My Museum’, Yao An

As Beijing’s central museum, the Capital Museum exemplifies Beijing’s urban culture and testifies to the development of the city. Against the backdrop of globalization, the Capital Museum conceived the new concept of ‘Capital, My Museum’. To help transmit this idea, the Capital Museum organized various exhibitions, bringing science, history and culture closer to the general public, and began to record the course of urban development in contemporary Beijing. Assuming the protection and conservation of the city’s diverse cultures as its solemn responsibility, the Capital Museum has undertaken to protect and display the intangible cultural heritages of the Beijing area. It has promoted many cultural and creative programmes, with the aim of building an intimate relationship between the museum and its visitors. Top


The Conservation of Shanghai’s Diverse Cultural Heritage, Chen Xiejun

Following substantive developments in Shanghai’s culture in technological, economic and societal terms, the conservation of Shanghai’s diverse cultural heritage has increasingly become a topic of daily conversation and has gradually entered the common consciousness. Chen Xiejun is Director of the Shanghai Museum, a role which he combines with being an executive on the Museum Association of the Asia Europe Foundation and Vice Chair of the China National Committee of the International Museum Association, Assistant Director of the Chinese Society of Museums and Assistant Director of the Shanghai Association of Museums of Culture. Top


A Cultural Record of the Three Gorges, Wang Chuanping

The Three Gorges heritage site and the Three Gorges Cultural Conservation Project both contributed to the establishment of the Three Gorges Museum. This gave rise to a distinctive management style and exerted enormous imaginative power through its choice of location, its architectural design, the wide publicity it received and its announced developmental targets. The completion of the China Three Gorges Museum at Chongqing met a long-standing need to protect and exhibit cultural relics from the Three Gorges. The effect has been to provide an important platform for the implementation of in-depth research, the enhancement of the culture of the Chang Jiang region and the establishment for humanity of a permanent record of the Three Gorges. Top


A Plan to Safeguard Kunqu Opera of Jiangsu Province, Gu Lingsen and Wang Tingxin

Kunqu opera is China’s oldest form of traditional theatre. The style has survived through the tradition and training of apprentices and through a diminishing number of extant handbooks. However, it has become increasingly difficult to pass on knowledge regarding this art form, so new strategies are being discussed for maintaining its traditions. If kunqu opera is to survive, its oral foundations must be strengthened. With the modern-day pressures of continuous public performances, greater attention must be paid to pooling the well-preserved traditions of performing ensembles with those of troupes using drama handbooks. The strength and solidity of the Kunqu Academy of Jiangsu Province is due to its ensemble of kunqu players. Businesses have made contact with the academy in attempts to keep its techniques alive and have initiated measures designed to preserve those specific to kunqu opera’s heritage. A new channel for the protection, continuance, recreation and development of China’s kunqu opera has thus been created. Top


Museums in Taiwan and the Development of Cultural Awareness, Chen Kuoning

This paper discusses how the government plays a dominant role in the shaping and execution of cultural policies to ensure the healthy development of museums in Taiwan, encouraging the founding of various types of museums and, through exhibitions and other cultural activities, fosters the growth of local cultural awareness among the public. Through the integration of an overall community construction scheme and a local cultural museum plan, Taiwanese people have become more attached to the conception of Taiwan as their hometown, while various activities hosted or helped by local museums have become focal points in their cultural lives. Top


The Yinxu Museum: the Ruins of Yin and the Yin-Shang Culture, Tang Jigen

More than 3,000 years ago there was a powerful line of kings in China known as the Shang Dynasty, the founder of which was called Yang. After the royal line was established there were seventeen generations and thirty-one monarchs between 1600 and 1046 BC   a history of more than 550 years   and during this period the capital city changed location several times. In about 1300 BC, the twentieth Shang king Pan Geng moved his capital to Anyang in today’s Henan Province, where it remained the Shang capital until the kingdom fell some 250 years later. In accordance with the guiding principles contained in UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, the Yinxu Heritage Site is without doubt ‘extraordinary and universally important’. On the strength of the bronze and jade vessels alone, it is evident that a sophisticated ceremonial infrastructure developed there and constituted a cultural tradition now lost. Moreover, the oracle bone records excavated in Yinxu show the recognizable shapes of Chinese pictograms as they were written 3,000 years ago. The oracle bone script is the earliest recorded form of Chinese writing, and some of the characters are still used today in their modern form worldwide. The stated aim of the Yinxu Museum is to highlight the ‘universal value’ of this collection. Top


The Creation of Cultural Capital through the Showcasing of World Art: the Beijing World Art Museum at the China Millennium Monument, Wang Limei

This article takes a look at a year in the life of the Beijing World Art Museum, located at the China Millennium Monument. The museum is in the process of internationalizing its operations, taking as its mission the dissemination of knowledge and increasing understanding of world art and civilization. It has enlisted the support of a team of Chinese and foreign specialists to engage with its central problem: the lack of a proper collection. In the face of the challenges and opportunities posed by the world market, the museum is learning from the successes of some of the world’s most renowned museums. In the process, it has accumulated cultural capital by combining excellent service and efficient operation, thus reaping handsome social and economic benefits. Top

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Compre este número a Blackwell Publishing

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