ASEMUS Executive Meeting, 2003

Singapore was the setting for the 4th EXCO meeting. The meeting was held a few days before the opening of the ACM at the Empress Place Building. The committee discussed the organisation of the working committees and the plans to secure political and financial support for VUSEUM-ASEMUS.

Minutes below:

Minutes ASEMUS 4th Executive Committee Meeting

Singapore, March 3rd 2003

 Participants: Chulamanee Chartsuwan, Chong Phil Choe, Corazon Alvina, Eva Gesang-Karlström, Steven Engelsman, Uchida Hiroyasu, Kenson Kwok, Stéphane Martin, Chen Xiejun and Karl Magnusson (secr.)

Regrets: John Mack and Juan I. Vidarte.


ASEMUS former chairman Prof. Thommy Svensson is unable to continue as member of the ExCom due to his new position as Director General at the Swedish Ministry of Culture. As a consequence Executive Director of Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Ambassador D. Colomé opened the meeting. He suggested Steven Engelsman as acting chairman of the meeting which was approved by the ExCom.

 1. Previous meeting

The minutes from the previous meeting in Shanghai were taken to the records.

 2. ExCom. issues

a) The new member of ASEMUS ExCom., Ms Eva Gesang-Karlström introduced herself. Since Oct. 1st 2002, she is Director General of the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden.

b) As a result of the present situation of chairmanship within ASEMUS ExCom., the meeting decided on the following principle to regulate the position in the future:

 The ASEMUS Executive Committee adopts a principle of alternate chairmanship for a term of three years. If the Chairman is from Asia, the Vice-Chairman should come from Europe and vice versa.

Steven Engelsman will be acting chairman until next ExCom. meeting in Shanghai on September 28th 2003.

 3. Organisation of Working Groups’ workshops 2003

A brief has been sent out to the coordinators for each working group based on the participation-list of the Leiden conference in April 2002. Rather few responses have occurred which necessities a new, formal, request from the ExCom. asking people about their wish to remain in these positions.

a) WG:s 1&2 – workshop to be held June 12-14 2003 in Antwerp, Belgium.

 Local organiser: Museum of Ethnology, Antwerp

Co-organisers: ASEF and National Museum, The Kings Golden Jubilee, Bangkok, Thailand

In mid-march there will be a planning meeting in Antwerp. It seems as the group on ‘Scattered Collections’ is rather well on track, while the one on the ‘Lost Heritage’ is lacking momentum. The meeting in Antwerp must deal with this thoroughly. 

b) WG 3 – workshop/course to be held April 7-25th 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 Local organiser: National Museum of Malaysia and ICCROM

Co-organisers: ASEF and The National Museum of World Culture, Sweden

A coordination/evaluation team consisting of, Graeme Scott (RMV-Leiden), Paiman Keromo (Nat. Museum of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur) and Kerstin Pettersson (NMWC-Gothenburg) has been set up. The group is prepared to carry on the task through the wrap-up conference in Singapore 2004 as long as the necessary financial means will be at disposal.

c) WG:s 4 & 5 – workshop to be held September 25-27th 2003 in Shanghai, China

Local organiser: Shanghai National Museum

Co-organisers: ASEF and Musee du Quai Branly, France

The status of working group 4 on the ‘Travelling Exhibition’ is unclear at present. The ASEMUS secretariate will investigate and report back to the ExCom. To the contrary, WG 5 on ‘Virtual Exhibition of Masterpieces’ is proceeding very well and preparations for the meeting in September is continuously undertaken. The results of the WG will be a major contribution for the launching of VUSEUM-ASEMUS (see below).

 4. ASEMUS wrap-up conference in Singapore 2004

The concluding conference of ASEMUS phase 1, will take place during April 2004. Kenson Kwok will soon come back with the actual dates and a draft budget. He will investigate the possibilities of absorbing the costs of one preparation meeting for the working groups into the regular conference budget. Apart from ASEF there is yet no co-organiser decided. At an earlier stage, British Museum was mentioned as such and Steven Engelsman will investigate this possibility again.

5. ICOM Seoul 2-8th October 2004

Chong Pil Choe brought the news that the organising committee of ICOM Seoul has reserved a full day for ASEMUS to report back its activities to the global museum community. Steven Engelsman will write a letter of thanks and confirmation to the Chairman of the organising committee in Korea.

 6. ASEMUS website

Due to the ongoing process of developing VUSEUM-ASEMUS, no questionnaire regarding has been sent out to the network.

In order to make possible the publication of results from ASEMUS activities on the web, the host of, the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden, has connected with Mr Pitt Kwan Wah at the Singapore National Archives who has suitable digital competence and resources.

 7. ASEMUS Patronage Projects

The ExCom approved of the idea as outlined by Steven Engelsman (see enclosed Asemus Patronage projects). The secretariate will distribute the concept to the network and publish it on 3

 8. New launching plan for VUSEUM-ASEMUS

There are three important events that needs to be taken into consideration in order to secure political and financial support for VUSEUM-ASEMUS:

a) Ministers of Culture ASEM meeting, Beijing, May 2003

 In order to highlight the project Chen Xiejun and Eva Gesang-Karlström will approach each respective Minister of Culture in order to try to convince them to table the proposal at the meeting. Additionally, each ExCom member will approach their respective Ministers of Culture in order to support the project at the meeting as well. ASEMUS ExCom approved a resolution that will be handed over to the Ministers together with a brief description of the general ASEMUS process and the VUSEUM-ASEMUS outline (encl. to the minutes).

b) ASEF Board of Governors meeting in Nov. 2003

 In addition to the content mentioned above, a thorough evaluation of ASEMUS’ first two years will be carried out and presented to the Governors. Karl and Chulamanee will prepare a draft evaluation and circulate it to the ExCom members. It is to be finalized and adopted by ASEMUS ExCom at the Shanghai meeting, Sept. 28th, 2003.

c) ASEM V in Hanoi Sep/Oct 2004

 Presentation of some of the ASEMUS phase one results and public launch of VUSEUM-ASEMUS competition.

 9. Digital investments and capacity building in Asia

To be discussed at next meeting in Shanghai Sept. 28 2003.

 10. Consequences of making ASEMUS a legal entity

To be discussed at next meeting in Shanghai Sept. 28 2003. Thorough investigation of possibilities and “threats” to be prepared by the Secretariate and acting Chairman.

 11. Next meeting

next meeting of ASEMUS ExCom will be in Shanghai, Sept. 28th, 2003. Issues to discussed and decided are:

– Chair and Co-chair (Eva Gesang-Karlström will consult with ExCom members on this)

– Evaluation ASEMUS phase one, to be finalized since it need to reach ASEF Headquarters on Oct. 1st. (see above)

– Hanoi Action Plan to be finalized and adopted. It must reach ASEF headquarters by Oct. 1st. This is the plan to start developing VUSEUM-ASEMUS from November 2003 until Hanoi ASEM-meeting in October 2004. (Steven and John Perkins to prepare a draft plan, in discussion with Delphin Colomé and Chulamanee).

– Singapore 2004 wrap-up meeting. Brief, preparations, programme, how publish and communicate the outcomes.

 Karl Magnusson

Secretary of ASEMUS

Gothenburg 2003-04-08


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