ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting, 2008

The EXCO member was updated on the various ASEMUS projects and there was discussion on the content of the ASEMUS General conference on ‘ICT and Museums’ to be held in Manila.

Minutes below:

Minutes ASEMUS 11th Executive Committee Meeting

Singapore, April 24th, 2008

Participants: Azizah Fauziah, Corazon Alvina (Chair), Eva Gesang-Karlström, Katelijn Verstraete, Steven Engelsman, Karl Magnusson (Secretariat). Special Invitees: Manus Brinkman (VCM project), Jos Taekema (VCM project).

Regrets: Chen Xiejun, Chong Pil Choe, Claudius Müller, Jean Anes, Kenson Kwok, representative of Japan, representative of British Museum, Stephane Martin.

1. Opening of the meeting, approval of the agenda

This, the 11th ASEMUS Excom meeting, was called upon due to two main reasons, i.e. the development and needs of the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces and the planning of an ASEMUS General conference in the Philippines in November 2008. With the shift in order of some of the items, the agenda was approved.

2. Previous meeting

Minutes from previous meeting (Gyeonggi, Korea) adopted.

3. Update of ASEMUS projects

TheHidden base of Borobodour

The project has proceeded with support from participating institutions i.e. the National Museum of Indonesia, the Museum of Ethnology in the Netherlands and Silpakorn University in Thailand. In February this year opened a gallery exhibition on the theme at the museum in Leiden that will last to September 2008. 1-5 of September the museum will host the 12th International Conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists where the project will be highlighted.


On April 25th the Peranakan Museum opened in Singapore as a branch of Asian Civilisations Museum. Research and preparation works have been carried out in Indonesia, Singapore and the Netherlands. Some objects in the exhibitions are on loan from the Museum in Ethnology in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Unearthing Philippines Past

Several European museums (Gothenburg, Hamburg, Leiden, Madrid and Vienna) have presented inventories of their collections to the curators at the National Museum in Manila. In December 2005 the Pangulo exhibition worked as a small version of the bigger plans that is embedded in the project. The National Museum in Manila will continue to coordinate and develop the project further. Next theme to treat is “the creation of minority”.

Exchange of Conservation techniques

Although no funding has been given, the conservation ideas of ASEMUS as presented at Museum Hopping 2004 are taken further by mainly two programs. The CollAsia 2010 managed by ICCROM, for instance a conference on Pest Control in Manila last May, a forthcoming pest control conference this coming November in Cebu city, a proposed underwater heritage basic conservation meeting (proposal submitted) and the MuSEA cooperation coordinated by the Swedish Museums of World Culture e.g. a workshop on “Threats to the cultural heritage” in Hanoi November 2007.

4. Executive committee issues

Following the discussion at the previous Excom meeting (please see minutes), it was decided to open up one additional position from the European side. This will result in a situation where the network will be asked to nominate candidates for two European positions and one Asian position. The time-frame for nominations will be 1st of June to 1stof August 2008, and decision taken at the ASEMUS conference in the Philippines in November. The present chair of ASEMUS ExCom will investigate and report back on which 3 positions that will leave the present ExCom.

The meeting in the Philippines also marks the end of service of the present Chair and Vice-Chair. In line with our mission statement, the Chair will be replaced by the present Vice-Chair which then calls for a new candidate for this position. Steven Engelsman will investigate and report back in this matter.

5. ASEMUS main projects

Travelling Exhibition – Self and Other

The Travelling Exhibition “Self and Other” will open in Osaka, Japan, September 11th 2008. It will be shown at five venues in Japan up to mid-2009 and then travel further to Sweden and England. A catalogue will be published in Japanese and English.

There are obvious synergies to be created through a close cooperation between the project teams of Self and Other and the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces. The details are not yet decided (digital working tool for internal communication, space for the digital legacy of Self and Other, add a “story” to VCM, etc), but the partners are encouraged by the ASEMUS ExCom to continue their discussions.

Education Exchange

Two more partnerships within the Education Exchange are still available. The proposed cooperation between the National Museum in Manila and Musee Quai Branly, Paris has been postponed but will be realised at a later stage. Corazon Alvina investigates when and will report back to the Secretariat. The final exchange was reserved for the Sejong University Museum, Seoul and the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam. This has not yet been realised and the Secretariat will investigate further and report back.

Following the wish for synergies among different ASEMUS activities/projects, the participants in the education exchanges will be given a brief to develop ideas on the “Learning Zone” of the VCM.

The Virtual Collection of Masterpieces

Apart from the major achievements as stated in the annual report (distributed in the call to the meeting) two major issues were highlighted.

1. The wish to expand and lessons to be learnt when trying to include more museums in VCM.

– The language problem that for instance is obvious when trying to include more Chinese museums in the project. The consortium wants to gather around 30

museum professionals (content specialists) at a workshop and do hands-on contributions to VCM with the help of an interpreter.

– To develop the capacity to include “masterpieces” of Intangible Heritage in the collection. In this regard the collections of Mongolian Theatre Museum can serve as a case.

The consortium will present a proposal for further discussions with ASEF concerning additional funding for the campaigns in China and Mongolia.

2. The possibility to expand VCM to countries outside the ASEM-process.

There are some countries, e.g. Iran and Uzbekistan, that has expressed interest (through the Chair of ICOM-ASPAC) to join the VCM. Since they are not members of ASEM this causes problems with regard to funding from ASEF. The possibility for ad-hoc solutions in the cases mentioned will be investigated by ASEF.

Finally, all members of VCM are encouraged to promote the Collection to as many potential contributors as possible.

6. ASEMUS General conference on “ICT and Museums”

At the conference in Gyeonggi, there was a proposal to dedicate the next ASEMUS General conference to the theme “ICT and Museums”. After a thorough discussion ExCom decided the following:

Venue – tentatively the Palawan, National Museum branch in the Philippines

Time – November 3-6 2008

Theme – ICT and Museums (proposed fields for the working groups are “Education and learning”, Collection Management Systems, ICT in Exhibitions”, what to prioritise with limited budgets, communication and visibility on www and “cutting edge use of ICT in Museums”. The structure will be a mix of plenary sessions with keynote presentations and gatherings in five working groups.

Participants – approximately 100 i.e. 40 from ASEMUS network, 40 from the Philippines and 20 from the MuSEA cooperation that is coordinated by the Swedish Museums of World Culture.

Report – the local organiser will do the report – cd-rom and e-publication

To do –

Invitations – signed by Corazon Alvina, Stephane Martin and Jean Anes are to be sent out from the local organisers at latest 1st of June. The ASEMUS Secretariat will prepare a draft invitation to May 15th (concept and title) and send it to the Local organisers and ASEF.

Financing – Local organisers will present a draft budget based on 80 participants (additional 20 to be paid for by Sida) to ASEF for further discussions – no later than 15th of May.

7. Future ASEMUS Activities

Apart from the meeting in the Philippines, Poland as well as Sweden has expressed interests to organise future ASEMUS General Conferences. This will be further discussed at the meeting in November.

8. ASEMUS website

The Secretariat and ASEF are at present discussing the revamp and future operation of Apart from other things a closer relationship with the VCM will be developed regarding features such as membership records and updates of activities at individual institutions.

9. Next Meeting

Next meeting will take place in conjunction with the General Conference in November 3-6 2008.

Karl Magnusson

Secretary of ASEMUS

Gothenburg 2008-06-03

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