ASEMUS Executive Meeting, 2002

The meetings were held in conjunction with the first conference of the ASEMUS-programme in Leiden, the Netherlands. The main topics covered at the meetings included updates on the preparations for the planned conferences and workshops, future programmes, funding and the ASEMUS website.

 Minutes below:

ASEMUS Executive Committee Meetings

Leiden, April 10th and 14th, 2002

The meetings were held in conjunction with the first conference of the ASEMUS-programme in Leiden, the Netherlands


Participants: Gabriel Casals, Chong Phil Choe, Steven Engelsman, Uchida Hiroyasu, Kenson Kwok, Marie Le Sourd, Thommy Svensson (chair), Chen Xiejun, and Karl Magnusson (secr.)

Regrets: Juan I. Vidarte, Stéphane Martin and John Mack.

1. Executive Committee members

There have been changes in the composition of the ExCom. since last meeting in Singapore in October 2001. Uchida Hiroyasu, former Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, has replaced Hayashida Hideki and Marie Le Sourd represents ASEF as long as the position of ASEF Director for Cultural Affairs is vacant.

2. Membership in ASEMUS

At the moment there are 66 members in the network. The possibility of affiliating different kind of organisations to ASEMUS, such as national museum organisations and foundations, was discussed. Principally, the same applies to museum institutions in non-ASEF-countries. It was agreed that ASEMUS’s character of an open and inclusive network on a voluntary and practical basis must be the point of departure. Still, the fact that the network at the moment, due to geographical and funding circumstances, sets limits for possible partners needs to be thoroughly discussed at the next ExCom meeting.

General news about ASEMUS will be distributed to any interested party.

3. Logistics of the Conference series

3.1 The Conference in Leiden

The conference in Leiden was a great success. A number of constructive pilot-projects were developed by the five working groups. These will be described further in the conference report to be completed by the local organisers. After that, the chairs of each working group shall be asked to coordinate, or suggest a coordinator, for the continuing work of each respective conference/workshop. Given the fact that some projects might be financed within the framework of a regional project in Southeast Asia planned by the Swedish National Museums of World Culture, the SNMWC was given mandate to proceed on behalf of ASEMUS with funding discussions with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Authority (Sida). SNMWC will keep the ExCom informed about how the talks proceed.

3.2 The continuation of the ASEMUS programme

For all the events below, ASEF is co-organiser. When organising a conference/workshop it is very important that the local organisers develops a close and continuous dialogue with the ASEF.

The dates for the Copenhagen-meeting, which will focus the topics of ‘Scattered collections’ and ‘Lost heritage’, are still uncertain. At the moment is seems most plausible that the workshop will take place in the beginning of December 2002. Professional partner is the National Museum of Thailand.

The workshop on ‘Preservation and Conservation’ will take place in Kuala Lumpur in 9-11 April 2003, organised by the National Museum of Malaysia. Professional Partner is the SNMWC.

The workshop on ‘Travelling Exhibition’ and ‘Virtual Exhibition’ will take place in Shanghai 25-27 September 2003. Professional partner is Museé quai Branly (France).

The most probable time for the concluding conference in Singapore is beginning of April 2004. As professional partner the British Museum has been suggested.

The intellectual contents of the meetings might be changed depending on the development of the different pilot-projects.

4. ASEMUS website has been on the Internet for close to a year. The cooperation between the Secretariat and the IIAS runs smoothly and the website is also continuously improved thanks to ideas and help given by ASEF. However, the content on the website needs to be improved. A questionnaire will be circulated to the members of the network for suggestions of what information and links that might be added. Some kind of ‘appetizers’ was discussed and some of the pilot-projects suggested by the working-groups will certainly serve as such. Furthermore the concept of a ‘ museum market-place’, developed in Leiden, could be set up on the web, e.g. travel-exhibitions that museums want to ‘export’.

5. Marketing ASEMUS

Apart from the standing page in the IIAS-newsletter (quarterly) and in ASEF-related publications, the marketing of ASEMUS is scarce. It seems that a majority of the new members has received information about ASEMUS mouth-to-mouth. In Leiden, the media coverage was good. Television and Radio as well as newspapers were clearly interested in the overall concept of ‘Sharing Collections’. It highlights the need for creating an ASEMUS archive. The Secretariat is the natural place for this, so please send all articles on ASEMUS that you have.

6. Funding issues

Some additional funding has been provided for the website by the Leids Etnologisch Fonds/RMV (app. Euro 4000). Although Sida, for instance, might sponsor some of the pilot projects, the major share of the initial costs for the projects have to be financed by 3

the participating museums, either from ‘own pocket’ or by external fundraising initiated by the participants.

7. Concrete plans/projects for ASEMUS activities after the Conference series

A new, extended action-plan for the period after the Singapore conference have to be handed over to ASEF in time for its Board of Governors-meeting in the fall of 2003. In that plan, the initial ASEMUS idea of a Curatorial Exchange Programme for the participating museums should be included.

8. Others

Next ExCom meeting is scheduled for the Copenhagen workshop in December. Some members of the ExCom will also meet in conjunction with the ICOM-ASPAC meeting in Shanghai, October 20-24 2002.

 Karl Magnusson

Secretary of ASEMUS

Gothenburg 2002-04-18

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