ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting 2008

The executive committee was held to coincide with the conference on Information CommunicationTechnology and Museums. This marked the end of Corazon Alvinas’ period as Chair of the Committee. Following the principles set out in ASEMUS Mission Statement, she was succeeded by the former Vice-Chair Stephané Martin of Musee Quai Branly in Paris. In turn, Chong Pil Choe from the Sejong University Museum, was appointed as new Vice-Chair.

Minutes below:

Minutes ASEMUS 12th Executive Committee Meeting

Manila, the Philippines, November 5th, 2008

Participants: Chong Pil Choe, Corazon Alvina (Chair), Jean Anes, Stephané Martin (Vice- chair), Steven Engelsman, Kenson Kwok, Karl Magnusson (Secretariat). Special Invitees: Michael Ryan (Education exchange).

Regrets: Chen Xiejun, Claudius Müller, Göran Blomberg, representative of Japan, representative of British Museum.

1. Opening of the meeting, approval of the agenda

Agenda approved

2. Previous meeting

Minutes from previous meeting (Singapore April 2008) adopted.

3. Executive Committee issues

The meeting marked the end of service for Corazon Alvina as ASEMUS Chair. Following the principles set out in ASEMUS Mission Statement she was succeeded by the present Vice-chair, Mr Stephané Martin of Quai Branly. As new Vice-Chair, Chong Pil Choe of Sejong University Museum was appointed.

The Excom expressed sincere thanks to Corazon Alvina for her excellent work as Chair of ASEMUS and also for the great hospitality shown by hosting two Excom meetings and a General conference during her period of service.

For many years the principles of appointing new members to Excom has been discussed within the group. The reason is that the present group is more or less self-appointed by those who have been most active in the network since its creation. Different ideas about open calls and electoral processes has been pondered but never implemented. Still, Excom has a wish of circulating the membership and agreed finally on the following ideas:

– 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.

Following the decision, the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland was invited and accepted to be a member of ASEMUS ExCom. Chester Beatty Library is represented by Director Michael Ryan.

Kenson Kwok, representing the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, announced that he will leave as Director for the museum in beginning of 2009. He was asked by Excom to inform his successor about ASEMUS and also to encourage that ACM remain its position as an active partner in ASEMUS. The Chair and Secretary were given the task of putting together a list of possible members to invite to Excom. This list will consider geographical as well as gender aspects of representativity.

4. ASEMUS main Projects

Travelling Exhibition – Self and Other

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

The Virtual Collection of Masterpieces

VCM is now governed by 6 trustees i.e. those institutions that has contributed 10.000 Euro or more to the project. The National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Netherlands, is coordinator of the project. A new, improved, version of the VCM was launched at the ASEMUS meeting in Manila. The project will remain close to the network, following the basic principles of membership within the ASEM/ASEF structure. Still, institutions outside the ASEM umbrella might be invited as “guest” in order to open up and enrich the virtual collection. An action-plan for further development of VCM is soon to be presented.

Education Exchange

There have been three successful partnerships so far, but the demand is very slow. Probably due to the relatively low level of funding available. On the suggestion from Michael Ryan, it was decided to raise the amount to 4000 Euro per partnership (2000 for each museum). At present there are four new partnerships suggested:

The National Museum of Indonesia and the Art Museum in Riga, Latvia

The Folklore Museum in Seoul, Korea and National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands

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

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

The Excom approved all proposals. If the four partnerships are realised, a total of 16.000 Euro will be used from the Educational Exchange funds. According to Michael Ryan, this leaves room for two additional partnerships. A call for proposals regarding those will be published on the ASEMUS website.

5. Manila conference and future ASEMUS activities

The Manila conference gathered around 50 participants from Asia and Europe around the theme of ICT and Museums. The network was enlarged due to the support from the MuSEA program which brought around 20 participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam to the meeting. For this group, the possibility of sharing knowledge and experiences with colleagues from Korea, Japan, France, Singapore, the Netherlands, and the Philippines was very valuable. It proves that the strategy of organising thematic meetings that enables museum staff to meet and share competence is a fruitful part of ASEMUS future. At the Excom meeting Stephané Martin offered to host one thematic conference in Paris sometime during 2010. The theme is yet to be decided, but the aim is to use the conference in order to broaden the ownership of ASEMUS from museum directors to include other staff categories as well. It was further stressed that future ASEMUS meetings shall be designed in such a way that the development of new cooperation project is encouraged.

Other suggestions for future activities were raised during the concluding session of the meeting and include:

– the creation of a working group focused on ICT issues with particular focus on making different databases compatible and accessible

– further training possibilities for museum educators

– facilitate the travelling of exhibitions

The ASEF commitment to ASEMUS is still very strong and the aim is to continue to support different network activities. It is important to extend the network with particular focus on museums in less-developed countries. With regard to funding, ASEF wants to streamline the process so that all proposals emanating from ASEMUS activities are put together in one “application” from the network. This should be handed in by the end of each calendar year to ASEF from the ASEMUS Chair/Secretariat.

6. ASEMUS website

The present Secretariat will continue to operate the ASEMUS website from July 1st 2008 to July 1st 2010.

7. Next Meeting

Next Excom meeting will take place in Paris during the first half of 2009

Karl Magnusson

Secretary of ASEMUS

Gothenburg 2008-11-19

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