Published Soon! The Proceedings of the Sino-German Museum Forum of CIHA 2016
The 34th World Congress of Art History·Sino-German Museum Forum was held on September 19 -20, 2016 in the Palace Museum. The 34th World Congress of Art History is a grand meeting in the art history society, in order to cooperate with The Belt and Road Initiatives national strategy, to promote our culture goes global, as a co-organizer of the World Congress of Art History, the Palace Museum cooperated with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SMB), Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI), and Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (SPSG) to develop a two-day academic dialogue. The proceedings of the forum is editted by the Palace Museum, and will be published soon.
According to the "The Belt and Road Initiatives" development strategy, in order to promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, Sino-German Museum Forum takes a one-on-one dialogic form, to carry out forward-looking academic research on high-tech, new media, and the future development of museums.
The Forum will discuss on the museum's academic construction, archaeological excavations, heritage preservation, academic exhibitions, museums public, and the status and the future of private museums, with a view to laying the foundations for cooperating to win totally in a higher level of cooperation between Chinese and German museums, thereby to make museum become an indispensable content of contemporary people's cultural life by providing higher quality of academic research, and better public services.
Key Words of the forum:
Recalling The Tradition Embracing The Public
Dialogue between the Chinese and German Museum Directors
On September 19, the Sino-German Museum Forum was held at the lecture hall of the Palace Museum. Mr. Zhu Qingsheng (LaoZhu), President of World Art History Association and professor of Peking University, introduced the guests and made a brief introduction to the changes in the style of the Song and Yuan dynasties and their differences with the development of western art, and he was also grateful to be able to hold the conference in the Palace Museum. More than 400 representatives from 43 countries and regions attended the event.
Then, both Eisenhower, director general of SMB and Shan Ji Xiang, director of the Palace Museum, gave a keynote speech separately on current theoretical issues and practical experiences of the museum community, and had a dialogue, and they also answered questions from many listeners.
During the dialogue, director general of Eisenhower took “Nucleus Art Chamber：The Humboldt Forum and its Origins in the Ancient Prussian Art Chamber” as the title, summarized the classical collection of 20 museums and institutions represented by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Royal Art Chamber and the Berlin City Palace, etc, and analyzed the promoting effect upon the change of German museums that the innovative museological concept proposed during the Humboldt Brothers era had, declared that the Humboldt Forum would play a leading role in the transformation and development of the museums, and promote the spring to life of the German Museums at the Humboldt Forum.
Director Shan Jixiang took Recalling the Tradition, Embracing the Public as the subject, and made a speech on The World of the Forbidden City and the Forbidden City of the World: To Carry Forward the Glory and Dream of the Ninety-year-old Palace Museum. He told about the cultural relic exhibition status, characteristic exhibitions and the types and quantity of cultural relic collections. In recent years, with the continuous improvement of public cultural needs, the Palace Museum had been expanding the open area, enhancing interaction with the audience by using of digital technology, and enhancing the participation of the audience; improving the propaganda of cultural heritage knowledge, and enhancing information dissertation channels. Director Shan said that, in the future, the Palace Museum would expand the open area to 85 percent, and use the modern science and technology to build digital museums, improve the Palace Museum website to meet the public’s spiritual needs of traditional culture.
At the forum, director Shan Jixiang and Director General Michael Eissenhauer sighed a project cooperation agreement. As the close cooperation between the two sides and the origin of the forum, director Shan Jixiang said:”the Sino-Germany cooperation can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty, Germany has a long history in the field of museums, so there’s more room for both sides to cooperate in the fields of exhibition display, cultural relics protection, scientific research and so on. Mr. Eisenhower said:” both of the museums are world cultural heritage, the difficulties faced are similar, we should learn from each other and exchange ideas in cultural relics protection, maintenance, public education and so on.”
After the opening ceremony, in accordance with the Palace Museum’s default group routes, 400 delegates visited the Palace Museum orderly with great interest. The delegates also paid special attention to the 20th the Palace Museum’ s Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition of Past Dynasties, which is the special exhibition for the World Art History Association conference offered by the Palace Museum. The exhibition put the masterpiece and art history together, told the development clues of Chinese art history, and the classic work of calligraphy and painting from the Chinese Wei and Jin dynasties, so that visitors could experience the inheritance of Chinese culture, including the calligraphy and painting, enjoyed the details of traditional Chinese culture that the Palace Museum exhibited.
The German and Chinese Experts Forum
On September 20, the Sino-German Museum Forum expert dialogue was held at Jingsheng Zhai in Jianfu Palace. The Forum took the form of One-on-one dialogue themes by several groups. The conference invited separately seven representatives from both Chinese and German sides to give a dialogue centered around seven themes, including the cultural heritage and archeology, museology and museum history, the establishment of private museums and art collection, the concept of portraits, the protection of ancient architecture, the protection and furnishings of the Royal silk fabrics, and museum education, the dialogue atmosphere was warm and academic atmosphere was strong.
The first group was about archaeology Dialogue, it was held between MS.Friederike Fless, President of DAI and Mr.Li Ji, Director of the Archaeological Research Institute of the Palace Museum. Ms Fleiss started with the Olympia in Greece, Crystal Palace of the Palace Museum, and cultural relics from a Turfan grave, put forward the concept of cultural heritage and link connection, and the necessity of cooperation with Archaeological Research Institute of the Palace Museum, and she also listed current challenges identified by the German Archaeological Institute when dealing with the archaeological cultural heritage at the international level through the importance of historical monument lists, the challenges posed when attempting to preserve and communicate the cultural heritage, and the need for capacity building. Mr. Li Ji introduced the new breakthrough of archaeological research in the palace site which was done by the Archaeological Research Institute of the Palace Museum, especially focused on the restoration project of East and west sides outside the southern gate of the Southern Three Abodes (Nan san suo), Area south of the Southern Warehouses (Nan da ku), Eastern courtyard of the Garden of Compassion and Tranquility (Cining Garden), West side of the Gate of Thriving Imperial Clan (Longzong men) , and the Grand Hall of the Supreme Profundity (Da gao xuan dian) .Especially introduced archaeological methods and approach into the renovation of the Grand Hall of the Supreme Profundity is an attempt to apply archaeological typology and stratigraphy to heritage architecture renovation, It provided a new way of putting archaeological theories and methodologies to practical use.
In the course of the dialogue between Mr. Graf, Director of Institut für Museumsforschung, SMB and Zheng Xinmiao, Director of the Palace Museum Research Institute of the Palace Museum, they respectively took the German Art Museum and the Palace Museum for instance to illustrate the important role of museology in collection preservation and academic research. Mr. Graf introduced some museums in Germany, including the Art Museum development in Germany, Museums and public budgets, Goals and Perspectives, Art Museums and museum architecture, Berlin - Kulturforum, and Gemäldegalerie and so on. Mr. Zheng Xinmiao introduced the fruitful achievements that the Palace Museum Scientific research had got in recent years: The establishment of the academic research - oriented Palace Museum Research Institute strengthened the cultivation of academic strength, and promoted the development of academic research; cooperated with famous museums at home and abroad, popularized the idea of Gugong (Forbidden City) ; a large number of documentation had been published, indicating that the construction of the academic Gugong had taken a big step.
In the dialogue on Private Museums in China, Miss Meng Schmidt-Yin, doctoral candidate of Frei University Berlin, explained the development of private museums and their function in detail, pointed out the status quo of the lack of contemporary art collection in the museums. She called on the government to introduce relevant policies to support the development of private art museums. Mr. Duan Yong, director of Museum Department of State Administration of Cultural Heritage took the private museums in China for instance, told the development and status quo of private museums since the reform and opening up. He affirmed the private museums enriched the concept of museum collection, but also pointed out the drawbacks of their collection source was not clear, the authenticity of them was hard to judge, and underestimated the operation.
MS. Gabriele Horn, Head of protection and preservation, SPGS Introduced the historical change of Prussian palaces. With the difference of function positioning, the palace of its artistic collection also retains the characteristics of the time in different periods. She took the Porcelain Cabinet of Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin for instance to illustrate the various problems encountered in the process of palace renovation, and came to the conclusion that on the one hand they visualize a dialogue with a history, and on the other hand they change and manipulate visitors’ awareness of history. Mr. Jin Hongkui, director of the Historical Architecture Institute of the Palace Museum was concerned about China's immovable cultural relics protection. He proposed the ancient Chinese architecture had irreplaceable historical value and artistic mechanism, the important principle of implementation of protection technology means was not to change the cultural relics original state, it must respect the architectural space layout and details during the integral protection and management process of ancient building complex of the Palace Museum, and restore its historical original.
For preheating the Chinese Portrait paintings in the Ming and Qing dynasties exhibition, which would be held by sino-german cooperation in 2017, Mr. Klaas Ruitenbeek, director of Museum für Asiatische Kunst, SMB and Mr. Yu Hui, director of the Research Department of the Palace Museum had an academic dialogue on the portrait. Mr. Klaas Ruitenbeek Contrast between Chinese and Western Portrait paintings, set forth expatiate painting style, painting function, size and such other related problems. Mr. Yu Hui reviewed the development history of the portrait subjects, clarifyed the Chinese portrait painting's developing sequence and its historical function for us from the social system and painting function, and played a key role in the exhibition of the Chinese Ming and Qing portraits.
MS. Evers, Curator of Textiles, SPSG expressed her views on the preservation and reproduction of silk. She believed that the royal silk had a long history, the production process of silk was special, materials types were diverse, and it was difficult in the protection, reconstruction and reproduction. In the form of case studies, she told us the necessity in evidence-based remediation work and the assessment of art history principles. Ms. Zhang Qiong, the Department of Court of the Palace Museum responded to Ms. Evers's speech with a case study of the embroidery of the palace of Qing Dynasty. With the symbolism of the embroidery of the Qing Dynasty as the core, she analyzed the production process, duplication, original status and many other problems of the embroidery.
Education had received the widespread attention of the community as an important function of the museum. Ms. Demler, curator of Education, SMB, and Ms. Guo Meixia, Vice director of Publicity and Education Department of the Palace Museum discussed the topic of public education in museums. Ms. Demler, spoke about the educational problems of the museum, with emphasis on working attitudes. To take the museum as a platform for education, and cooperate with schools and other educational institutions, multi-channel to develop education, and to meet the needs of different users. Based on the cooperation between museums and schools, Ms. Guo Meixia proposed to explore scale of school projects in museums.
In the end, Mr. Klaas Ruitenbeek, director of Museum für Asiatische Kunst, SMB and Zheng Xinmiao, director of the Palace Museum Research Institute of the Palace Museum Made a concluding statement. Mr. Klaas Ruitenbeek said that both sides have much in common in this forum, it provided academic support for the promotion of the Chinese Portrait paintings in the Ming and Qing dynasties exhibition, and Germany would continue to deepen cooperation with the Palace Museum. Mr. Zheng Xinmiao, pointed out that the forum had a valuable discussion on the museum academic issues, caused us to think about something related to the theme of the conference, Recalling the Tradition, Embracing the Public. It’s a very innovative way to discuss in the museum society. After the forum dialogue, the related subjects would continue to be thought about, and obtain new breakthroughs in academic ideas, and we looked forward to the future dialogue between both sides again.
(All texts and images are provided by the Research Department of the Palace Museum )
Representatives & Articles
（All attached articles are provided by the Research Department of the Palace Museum, who has also authorized the CIHA to publish them on the website）
1. Prof. Dr. Michael Eissenhauer, Director General，SMB
Prof. Shan Jixiang, Director of the Palace Museum
The World of the Forbidden City and the Forbidden City of the World: To Carry Forward the Glory and Dream of the Ninety-year-old Palace Museum
2. Prof. Dr. Friederike Fless, President, DAI
Prof. Li Ji, Director of the Archaeological Research Institute of the Palace Museum
3. Prof. Dr. Bernhard Graf, Director, Institut für Museumsforschung, SMB
Prof. Zheng Xinmiao, Director of the Palace Museum Research Institute of the Palace Museum
4. Meng Schmidt-Yin, Assistent, doctoral candidate of Frei University Berlin
Duan Yong, Director of Museum Department of State Administration of Cultural Heritage
5. Prof. Dr. Klaas Ruitenbeek, Director of Museum für Asiatische Kunst, SMB
Prof. Yu Hui, Director of the Research Department of the Palace Museum
6. Dr. Gabriele Horn, Head of protection and preservation, SPGS
Prof. Jin Hongkui, Director of the Historical Architecture Institute of the Palace Museum
7. Dr. Susanne Evers, Curator of Textiles, SPSG
Prof. Zhang Qiong, The Department of Court of the Palace Museum
Symbolic significance of tapestry and embroidery furnishings in palace of Qing Dynasty
8. Monika Demler, Curator of Education, SMB
Prof. Guo Meixia, Vice director of Publicity and Education Department of the Palace Museum