ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting, Seoul, 2012

ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting, Seoul, 2012   ASEMUS Executive Committee Meeting, Seoul, 2012

The ASEMUS Executive Committee was held at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, on the 12th September 2012. This was followed by the VCM Trustees meeting in the afternoon. At this Executive Committee meeting, the meeting was briefed on the updates of the ASEMUS website and other on-going projects. The Executive Committee also welcomed two new members: Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, Austria and the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art, Japan.

Minutes of the ASEMUS Executive Meeting, 12 September 2012


  • Kim Youngna, Director-General,National Museum of Korea (Chair)
  • Fionnuala Croke, Director,Chester Beatty Museum (Vice-Chair)
  • Stijn Schoonderwoerd, Director, National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden
  • Sanne Houby-Nielsen , Director, National Museums of  World Culture
  • Alan Chong, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum
  • Toshio Yamanashi, Director General, National Museum o fArt, Osaka, Japan
  • Zhou Yanqun, Chief of  Cultural  Exchange  Office, Shanghai Museum
  • Ana Labrador, Assistant Director, National Museum of Philippines
  • Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo, Head of East Asian Collection, Museumof Ethnology,Vienna
  • Bettina Zorn, Head of Insular Southeast Asian Collections, Museumof Ethnology,Vienna
  • Marie Escot, International Affairs Manager, musée du quai Branly
  • Sabina Santarossa, Director, Cultural Exchange ASEF
  • Choi Hoon-chang, Head of International Relations & PR Division, National Museum of Korea
  • Karl Magnusson, International Cooperation Manager, National Museums of World Culture
  • Sasiwimon Wongjarin Project Officer, ASEF
  • Tan Huism, Executive Secretary, ASEMUS

Absent with apologies:

Michael Willis, Chen Xiejun, Jeremy Barns, Steven Englesman, Christine Stelzig, Stephane Martin, Masanori Aoyagi


1             The meeting’s agenda was approved and adopted.

2             The ASEMUS Secretariat, Tan Huism brought the meeting through the last Executive Committee meeting’s minutes. The minutes can be found on the ASEMUS website.

3             Chair Dr Kim Youngna welcomed the two new members to the ASEMUS Executive committee – Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art, Japan and theMuseumofEthnology,Vienna,Austria. As the heads of the two institutions –Masanori Aoyagi and Steven Englesman respectively, were not able to attend, their representatives shared briefly on their institution’s mission and activities.

Update on ASEMUS Website

4             Huism brought the meeting through the work that has been done on the ASEMUS website since the last Executive meeting in Oct 2011. She informed that improvements were made to the layout of the website to enhance the visibility of certain elements, for example a banner for the ASEMUS Presidency and also the embedding of more videos on the site.

5             At present, the website features the profiles of 70 ASEMUS museum members and 21 museum professionals. On average, the Secretariat and the website editor posts six to eight events and news items each month.

6             Huism highlighted that the ASEMUS website has become an important site for members – for some it is the only official presence these museums have on the internet and for others the only official English language website.

7             In terms of visitors to the ASEMUS website, Huism provided the statistics that, since it started last year, the site had received more than 25,000 unique visitors and 65,000 page views. Each month sees a steady increase.

8             An important addition made to the site was the ability for museums to become a member via the website or by sending a document generated from the site. Many new ASEMUS members had contacted the Secretariat to become members through this method.

9             During the past year, ASEMUS has also been active on social media platforms. As of 11 Sept there had been just over 4,000 likes on facebook with 300 followers on Twitter. The meeting acknowledged the exposure gained by the ASEMUS website being placed on ASEF’s culture 360 platform.

10          The ASEMUS content (through these platforms as well as the mailing list) can be disseminated to 6,000 contacts, which the Secretariat hopes to expand to 10,000 by end 2012.

11          The meeting was invited to provide ideas and suggestions to improve the website. Mr Choi Hoon-chang informed that the website could serve as an archive of information on the planning of the general conferences which could be referred to by future organisers. The information of theSeoulconference which would be a very good guideline for others to be put on the website.

12          Another idea was to start a closed community group to discuss certain topics such as education or museum gallery needs like lighting and so on. Such groups however require at least one person to actively post and stimulate discussion. Sanne Houby-Nielsen informed that she would see whether she is able to convince a staff to take this on.

Updates on ASEMUS Projects

Museum Education

13          Dr Kim Youngna informed the meeting about the National Museum of Korea’s (NMK) Korean Studies Fellowship Programme. In 2013, NMK will be supporting a fellowship programme where museum professionals and academics, especially enthusiastic scholars who are currently PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers outside of Korea, are given lectures and site visits to better understand Korean culture and heritage. NMK will support the return airfare, accommodations and per diem. Dr Kim informed that this programme would be opened to all ASEMUS members to apply.

14         Fionnuala Crokeinformed the meeting that ASEMUS still has some balance funds under its Exchange of Museum Educators programme which amounts to around Euros 19,763. This programme has been participated in by 10 ASEMUS museums and it involves educators from two museums one in Europe and one inAsiaspending two weeks in each other’s institutions. One of the programme’s objectives is to build capacity. All agreed that this programme should be relaunched.

15          Huism highlighted that perhaps part of the reason for the slow takeup of this programme is that for the Asian museums, the accommodations inEuropemight be too costly.  In the programme guidelines, the two museums are given Euros 2,000 each, making it a total of Euro 4,000 for each programme. The recommendation that was agreed on at the meeting would be to increase the total to Euro 4,500 where the Asian museum partner would get Euro 2,500.

16          Ana Labrador informed that she could help in finding out whether organisations like SEAMEO – SPAFA would be able to help provide some funding to cover the shortfall so as to enable Southeast Asian museums to participate.

17          All agreed that the choice of participating museums would be given to ASEMUS members who have not previously benefited from this exchange.

18          It was also agreed that the information about the programme would be announced at the General Conference and it will also be posted on the website.

19          The lead partners in this programme are the Chester Beatty Library and theAsianCivilisationsMuseum.

20          Another education programme which is under the Virtual Collections of Masterpieces (VCM) website is the Silk Road Learning Zone. Meeting was informed that it would be publicly launched during the General Conference.

Mapping of Asian Collections Project:

21          Huism brought the meeting through the Mapping project and the discussions and work that have taken place during the last year and a half. She showed a sample page of the prototype map that the musée du quai Branly had helped to build. However as this map was built on a free software, it is not very user friendly and funds would be required to create a map with search functions.

22          Huism informed that after the last EXCO meeting, ASEMUS was to have worked with VCM on the possibility of collaboration with their new partner Naver. However, given some matters that were yet to be confirmed between VCM and Naver, ASEMUS was not able to take up the matter before this meeting. (Postscript: During the conference, Huism met up with the VCM team to explore ways on how ASEMUS and VCM could collaborate on the mapping project.)

23          Huism informed that in July 2012, on behalf of ASEMUS, the Secretariat and the two lead partners for the project: National Museum of Korea and theMuseumofEthnology, Vienna, had applied for the Creative Encounters Funds operated by ASEF. ASEMUS’s proposal has been shortlisted and would need to prepare a more detailed report to be submitted on the 21 September for ASEF’s consideration. Huism informed that she intends to gather more inputs to be incorporated for the more detailed proposal from the ASEMUS participants during the working group session on Day 2 of the conference.

ASEMUS Membership

24          To date the number of ASEMUS institutional members stands at 97 with 43 institutions from 22 European countries and 54 institutions from 17 Asian countries. During the last year, ASEMUS has received members from countries which were previously not represented on the network likeIndia,Greece,MyanmarandLithuania.

25          Huism wanted to acknowledge the efforts of the National Museum of Korea for actively getting Korean museums to join as ASEMUS members.

Hosts for next ASEMUS EXCO and ASEMUS General Conference

26          With regards to the next EXCO meeting in 2013,Fionnuala Crokeinformed that the Chester Beatty library will host the meeting inDublin. Exact dates to be determined.

27          With regards to the next General Conference, given that the practice has been to alternate between Asia and Europe, the next conference should be held inEurope.

28          The meeting decided to ask Steven Englesman whether theMuseumofEthnology,Viennawould be able to do the honours for 2014. (Postscript: Steven had agreed that their museum would host the next ASEMUS General Conference).

Minutes by:

Tan Huism, National Heritage Board, Singapore
Secretary of ASEMUS

[Update] ASEMUS Executive Committee 2013 (PDF, 180kb)

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