ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting 2009

Topics discussed at the meeting included the principles of appointing new members to the ASEMUS Exco, new action plans to be put into place to encourage support from the ASEF Paris.

Minutes below:

Minutes ASEMUS 13th Executive Committee Meeting,

Musee Quai Branly, Paris, November 30th & December 1st 2009

Participants: Chong Pil Choe (Vice-Chair), Claudius Müller, Corazon Alvina, Dominique Gerard, Stéphane Martin (Chair), Steven Engelsman, Kenson Kwok, Karl Magnusson (Secretary), Michael Ryan, Michael Willis & Sasiwimon Wongjarin Special Invitees: Jan van Alphen (Bozar). Regrets: Chen Xiejun, Göran Blomberg, representative of Japan

1. Opening of the meeting, approval of the agenda

Agenda approved

2. Previous meeting

Minutes from previous meeting (Manila, November 2008) adopted.

3. Executive Committee issues

For many years the principles of appointing new members to Excom has been discussed within the group. In Manila 2008, Excom agreed on the following principles:

– Membership in ASEMUS Excom is institutional (not personal) and by invitation

– In order to have a flexible structure, a total of 12 museums (6 from Asia and 6 from Europe) can be members in Excom. In addition there is one representative from Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Excom Secretary.

– If an institution is not represented at three successive meetings, that institution will be asked by the Chair to resign in favour for another museum.

Still, the question of renewing and bringing in new active museums to ASEMUS Excom is a challenging one and the General Conference next year is crucial in this respect. There we will highlight the unique-features of ASEMUS such as the fact that we operate under a political umbrella (ASEM), the practical approach towards cooperation i.e. strong project focus and the informal network structure. In addition some “new” museums will be approached and asked to participate in the preparation of the General Conference.

4. ASEMUS main Projects

Travelling Exhibition – Self and Other

The Travelling Exhibition “Self and Other” opened in Osaka, Japan, in September 2008. Since then five Japanese venues have hosted the show. A catalogue has been published in Japanese and English. The Exhibition will be shown at the Brunei Gallery in London January 21st – March 27 2010. After that it will travel further but the definitive schedule of venues is not yet settled. Manila has the ambition to host it and it will be shown in Stockholm at the Museum of Far-Eastern Antiquities early 2011.

The Virtual Collection of Masterpieces

The annual report for 2009 and the draft Action Plan for 2010 were distributed before the meeting. The National Museum of Korea has agreed to become new Asian lead-partner of the project and a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Chinese museum community. This will cater for a strong development in Asia during 2010. In addition VCM will be very active during the ICOM General Conference in Shanghai November 7-12 in order to attract new museums.

Education Exchange

There have been five successful partnerships so far. All reports are published on the website. At present the amount to each partnership is 4000 Euro (2000 for each museum) and two more partnerships are in the pipeline:

The Sieboldthouse in Leiden, the Netherlands and the Nagasaki Museum, Japan

The National Museum in Manila, the Philippines and Quai Branly, Paris France

According to Michael Ryan the budget allows three more partnerships. In order to reach out with information on this, the ASEMUS website as well as the ASEF Culture 360 portal will be used.

5. ASEMUS General conference, Paris 2010

The conference coincides with ASEMUS 10th anniversary and will take place at the Quai Branly Museum, Paris, September 9-10th. It will be structured around some keynote speeches combined with working group sessions. The overall theme departs from the needs to map and establish relations between Asian collections in museums in Asia and Europe. From this some sub-themes will be developed.

A working group will be appointed to plan and organise the conference. Apart from the hosts, ASEMUS Secretariat and ASEF, some “new” museums will be approached in line with the ambition to extend the network. To start off the work the Quai Branly and the Secretariat will prepare a concept-paper early 2010. In addition ASEF will host a meting for the planning group in April.

The ASEM summit 2010 will take place in Brussels October 4-5th. In conjunction with this the Centre for Fine Arts in the city will host an exhibition (June 26 – October 10) on the historical relations between Asia and Europe. For the participants in ASEMUS General Conference, a trip to Brussels will be organised on Saturday, September11th.


Since its creation, ASEMUS has received strong support from ASEF. As the network approaches its 10th anniversary there is a need to evaluate targets and measures taken in relation to resources used. Michael Willis from British Museum will assist to find an adequate evaluator.

There is a need for a new action-plan for ASEMUS over the period 2010-2013. New targets and strategies must be established in order to convince the ASEF Governors to continue to support ASEMUS activities. The present Chair and the Secretariat will prepare a draft.

7. ASEMUS website

The Secretariat continues to operate the ASEMUS website to July 1st 2010. Despite the revamp under the present contract, visitor figures remain far to low. A new strategy and host for the site needs to be indentified. One idea is to split the functions and content of between the ASEF portal Culture 360 and the site of VCM.

The new strategy will be worked out in tandem with ASEF and in close contact with the VCM Liason and Innovation Officer.

8. Next Meeting

Next Excom meeting will take place in Paris in September 2010.

Karl Magnusson

Secretary of ASEMUS

Gothenburg 2009-12-09

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