ASEMUS General Conferences

asemus-foundersAsia-Europe Museum Network | ASEMUS


The Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) was founded in the year 2000 at the Asia-Europe Conference on Museums, hosted by the National Museum of the World Culture in Sweden and the Asia-Europe Foundation.

The founding members of ASEMUS include:

The first ASEMUS General Conference was held in Singapore in March 2004, in partnership with the National Heritage Board  in Singapore, and the British Museum.


General Conferences 2004-2014

6th General Conference

24-27 September 2014, Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna, Austria

Theme: Exploring Borders

The 6th Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS) General Conference was held at Weltmuseum Wien (World Museum Vienna), Austria, from 24th to 27th September 2014. The conference was organised with the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

The conference included two half-day sessions of parallel panels for presentations by participants and two half-day sessions dedicated to lectures as well as a presentation of the new museum concept of the Weltmuseum Wien. Several presentations of current developments within ASEMUS members were also made in the course of the event.

The conference theme, Exploring Borders referred to museum work itself, which very often involves being confronted by ‘borders’ such as national boundaries political or ethical barriers or obstacles to cross-disciplinary approaches. Museums co-operate on international projects, interact across cultures and discuss all manner of ethical and moral issues. The museum as an international meeting place needs to accept and respect certain limits, while at the same time demonstrating the courage to go beyond its own borders.

A report of the 6th General Conference can be found here.

5th General Conference

13-15 September 2012, National Museum of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
Theme: New and Sustainable Museum Education

The three-day General Conference was organised and hosted by the National Museum of Korea (NMK) in Seoul. Themed around New and Sustainable Museum Education, it focused on the three following areas: ‘Policies and Strategies for Museum Education’, ‘Museums and Communities’, ‘Technology and Museum Education’. A half-day session at the conference was dedicated to the ASEMUS network and its related activities, and the last day of the Conference offered cultural tours to Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The event was attended by over 350 people, including 230 museum professionals from 23 countries and of which 45 were from ASEM member countries (28 Asian and 17 European).

On the opening day, a congratulatory address was delivered by Mr Choe Kwang Shik, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea. Keynote speakers included Mr Michael Koh, Chief Executive Officer of the National Heritage Board in Singapore, and Mr Inwhoe Kim, Honorary President of the Korean Association of Museum Education.

Through an open call, ASEF, NMK and the ASEMUS Secretariat selected 16 speakers to present about ‘New and Sustainable Museum Education’ and five other speakers for ASEMUS-related activities. The conference provided an opportunity for ASEMUS members to share best practices and case studies while cultivating an open and supportive work environment. The hospitality provided by NMK was warmly received by the delegates.

The conference planning began in January 2012 with the NMK team’s visit to Singapore for discussions with the ASEMUS Secretariat and ASEF. The call for participation in the General Conference was posted on the ASEMUS website and communicated via its e-newsletter and social media channels. NMK set up an ASEMUS General Conference website for online registration of Conference delegates. The logistical arrangements for the Conference were efficiently carried out by the NMK team. Support was provided by ASEF for the participation of seven speakers and museum professionals to the General Conference.

4th General Conference

8-10 September 2010, Musée du quai Branly Paris, France
Theme: Increased Visibility – Increased Sharing

The ASEMUS Network celebrated its 10th anniversary at the 4th General Conference hosted by the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. A new Action Plan for 2011-2014 was launched during the Conference and included the relocation of the ASEMUS Secretariat from the National Museum of World Culture in Sweden to the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, as well as the revamp of the ASEMUS website hosted by ASEF’s online platform The General Conference was inaugurated by former French President Jacques Chirac, also founder of the Musée du quai Branly.

3rd General Conference

5 November 2008, Manila, The Philippines
Theme: ICT and Museums

The 3rd General Conference of the ASEMUS network gathered over 50 museum directors and museum professionals around the theme of information and communication technology (ICT) and museums. The network was expanded through the support of the MuSEA programme, which brought around 20 participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam to the meeting. Those individuals found the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with delegates from Korea, Japan, France, Singapore, The Netherlands, and The Philippines.

2nd General Conference

29 November 2005, Cordilleras, The Philippines
Theme: Museums in Action

The 2nd General Conference of the ASEMUS Network took place at the Museum of the Filipino People, a component museum of the National Museum in Manila, Philippines in November 2005. Among the prestigious speakers at the conference were: Mr Stéphane Martin, President of the Musée du Quai Branly (Paris, France); Dr Kenson Kwok, Director of the Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore); and Dr Brian Durrans, Deputy Keeper, Asian Collection at the British Museum (London, United Kingdom). The discussions focused on the role of museums in advocating and representing civil society experiences.

1st General Conference

4-6 March 2004, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Theme: mUSEum Hopping: the Asia-Europe Marketplace for Sharing Cultural Heritage

The first ASEMUS General Conference was held in Singapore in March 2004, in partnership with the National Heritage Board (NHB) in Singapore, and the British Museum.

The Conference focused on the role of museums toward peace and development, and saw the participation of over a hundred stakeholders from the private sector, diplomatic corps, media and international organisations at a museum marketplace organised alongside the meeting. Additionally, a public forum, Peace by Piece, on the role of museums in peace development saw the participation of four museum professionals from the British Museum in London (UK), the Museum of Ethnology in Osaka (Japan), the Philippine National Museum and the Ethnographic Museum in Antwerp (Belgium). It was chaired by Mr Kwa Chang Guan from the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

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