See the Latest Exhibits, Even From Home!
The Open Museum Teams Up with 16 Organizations – A Monumental Online Expo
For 5/18 International Museum Day, there's no need to leave the house – the exhibits will be delivered to your doorstep!
With the global spread of COVID-19, staying home and avoiding gatherings can reduce the transmission of disease. Therefore, the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC) and the Chinese Association of Museums have joined forces to collaborate with 16 museums, art galleries, research organizations, and Academia Sinica institutes to launch "The Museum Opens Up" special event, utilizing the Open Museum online platform. Whether it's hot ongoing exhibits, classic retrospectives, or exclusive new exhibits, everyone at home can now virtually visit the museums with the tap of a finger.
With the launch of "The Museum Opens Up" event page, you can now virtually access exhibits, even those which are currently on real-life display in their respective organizations: "Vine Plants of Taiwan" by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute; "Drawing Nature – Taiwan as Portrayed in Natural History Illustrations" by the National Taiwan Museum, "The Great Paper Mulberry, Revisited" by the Life Science Library, Academia Sinica; "From the Lens to the Canvas" by the Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery; "Grand Tour of Tea – An Amazing Adventure" and "Bar – A Special Exhibition of Asian Drinking Cultures" by the National Museum of History; "Beautiful Islands – Those People and Those Things" by the National Museum of Prehistory; "CRC 30th Anniversary Exhibition" by the National Human Rights Museum.
These exhibits' themes span from human culture to the natural world; from Taiwan's rich biodiversity to the expression of natural beauty through painting; from tracing the origin and migration of ethnic groups by following plant DNA, to the art, food, and drinking cultures of diverse local peoples; as well as those peoples' relationships to their history, environment, and personal rights. Geographically, it travels from Taiwan to Asia and Oceania. Utilizing the Open Museum's layouts and display modules, such as timelines and narrative maps, these "remixed" exhibits are presented in easily accessible terms, in hopes of giving the public a fresh online exhibit experience, distinct from a physical museum visit.
As for classic retrospective exhibits, Academia Sinica's Museum of the Institute of Ethnology is relaunching its well-received exhibit, "Anthropologists' Money Bag." Unlike the average exhibition that showcases various foreign currencies, it goes a step further to focus on the cultural significance and power relations embedded within currency, inviting audiences to reconsider the nature and influence of currency, as well as its future forms.
Besides converting exhibits from physical to virtual, "The Museum Opens Up" also features 6 exclusive new exhibits, such as the "Wonderland in the Sea of Stars" image exhibition by the Academia Sinica's Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the "Into the Museum!" exhibit by the Museum of the Institute of History and Philology. In particular, "Wonderland in the Sea of Stars" showcases the Institute’s important research discoveries of the past 5 years, including high-resolution imagery examining how planets and stars form, a rarely-seen "Einstein ring" that can deduce the mass of black holes, as well as the first-ever three-dimensional model of a magnetar.
According to Chen Hsi-yuan, Director of ASCDC, the core of Academia Sinica is academic research. The Open Museum provides flexible layouts, data visualization, and various spatiotemporal display modules that can not only store original sources of research, but furthermore enables multi-layered, multi-dimensional display of the research process. Director Chen says: "The Open Museum is a digital museum space combining functions for collection, curation, and display, that can serve as a platform to translate and showcase research. In the future, we hope to present even more critical research, advancing both academic study and local society, to promote popular knowledge and data reuse."
Over 90% of the Open Museum's collections are available for use under public license. Simply following the terms specified by each entry, anyone can freely download files for use. Another difference from other digital museums is that members can also combine their own and others' open collections to curate their own digital exhibits on the platform. The "Early Film Music of Taiwan" exhibit was curated by a private individual, producing a new work by utilizing records from across different groups, including the collections of the Taiwan Music Institute, Taiwan Film Institute, and Deng Tai-chiao, now made publicly available on the Open Museum.
According to Hsiao Tsung-huang, President of the Chinese Association of Museums, the Open Museum now allows Taiwan's archival organizations to leap between the confines of individual institutions’ information systems, gathering a variety of exhibits together under one portal for access by the general public – a great fit for this year's International Museum Day theme of "Diversity and Inclusion."
Most collections used in this event are already open for public access on the Open Museum. In addition, some cultural organizations have separately made their own collections available via public license, including Taiwan Music Institute's collection of artifacts gifted from the Ostasien-Institut e.V. Bonn; Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology's around 75,000 archaeological records; Taiwan Encyclopedia of Life's 2,000 Taiwanese plant and animal images; and more. The National Palace Museum also plans to add a selection of its public license collections to the Open Museum.
Director Chen would like to thank Taiwan's various cultural organizations and Academia Sinica's institutes for answering the call for this "open" event. Since the digital world is not limited in time and space, “The Museum Opens Up” will continue beyond May 18. In the future, more institutions can join us to help build new creations on the Open Museum.
Download the press release, promo video, and images.
5/18 International Museum Day Event – "The Museum Opens Up"
Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures; Chinese Association of Museums
Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan; Li Mei-shu Memorial Gallery; National Palace Museum; Taiwan Music Institute, National Center for Traditional Arts; National Museum of History; National Museum of Prehistory; National Taiwan Museum; National Museum of Taiwan History; National Human Rights Museum; Mongolian & Tibetan Affairs Commission, Ministry of Culture
Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica; Life Science Library, Academia Sinica; Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica; Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica; Lingnan Fine Arts Museum, Academia Sinica; Taiwan Encyclopedia of Life
Event Homepage: https://openmuseum.tw/museumday2020
Open Museum: https://openmuseum.tw