17 Apr 2019

Museum 2050: Exploring the future of museums in China

The second annual symposium of Museum 2050 takes place from April 28 – 30 at Zhi Art Museum in Chengdu and comprises one day of conference, a second of workshops providing professional training to museum staff across China and a third of cultural tours of Chengdu. Furthering the platform’s mission to encourage dialogue about the future of the museum landscape in China, this year’s symposium seeks to explore what institutions in China could be and how they could engage with artists.

The morning and afternoon sessions of the symposium kick off with a key note speech. The morning session is led by Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace, Sydney and Curator of Encounters at Art Basel in Hong Kong, who considers the speculative space of 21st century museums and commitments to commissioning, collecting and archiving. Addressing the afternoon session will be independent curator and researcher, Ning Wen, who considers the private funding of museums in China, and how to develop feasible models for the future of the industry.

Papers are presented by speakers of a range of backgrounds, and this year’s sessions explore a wide range of future-facing issues. Diane Wang, Producer, Digital Programme at M+ consider how an institution might activate itself in the digital age, while curator and researcher Hugh Davies surveys the curation of games in China. The Founder and Director of Arthub Asia, Davide Quadrio, presents research on the positioning of contemporary art within a historical collection, while independent curator and writer Danqing Xue presses for the importance of institutional branding strategies as a tool for guiding local art museums. This symposium also features two contributors from Beijing’s Inside Out Museum: Gaorui Sun, Departmental Assistant, considers how idol culture and fan economy are entering China’s institutions, while Curatorial Assistant Mengni Qian considers the relevancy of Inside Out Museum’s publishing practice and the opportunities that lie ahead. The day’s session close with papers by Chengdu artist Yinan Song who present on the interactions between folk craft and high art, and between art and technology, and a presentation by Doctoral Researcher Diana Tay who rethinks and redefines the role of the conservator.

This symposium also features remarks by the Museum 2050 co-founders, Leigh Tanner and Nicole Ching, as well as Valerie Wang, Artistic Director of Zhi Art Museum. The symposium will be live streamed for audiences elsewhere in China, and builds on last year’s inaugural summit at Shanghai’s Long Museum, where over 6800 people tuned in to watch the day’s proceedings.

On the April 29, Museum 2050 hosts a series of workshops. Recognizing the need for better training across an industry with high turnover rates, Museum 2050 will be providing professional sessions to staff of all affiliated Museum 2050 institutions across a range of subjects from programming, to artist residencies and marketing. Workshop leaders include: Darren Barker, Founder & Director of Barker Langham, and Emily Hall, Director at Barker Langham; Kira Simon-Kennedy, Founder & Director of China Residencies and Xiaoyao Xu, Residency Knowledge Fellow at China Residencies; and Kevin Lam, Executive Director, Sinclair Arts, and Greg Young, Manager at Sinclair Arts.

On April 30, Museum 2050 offers visits to Art Chengdu, A4 Art Museum and other cultural sites around Chengdu for speakers and workshop attendees to maximise opportunities to experience all the city has to offer during this key moment in the cultural calendar.

Museum 2050 is supported by partnerships with ZHI ART MUSEUM, China Residencies, the Australian Embassy Beijing, Sinclair Arts and Barker Langham.

If you would like to join us at Museum 2050, please do get in touch, and find out more at www.museum2050.com

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