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On May 2, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) hosted one day of a multi-venue conference on "The Social Impact of Museums" at its Zhi Shan Culture Center. An exhibition created by TSA titled "Museums in Action" that explores the mission and role of museums in the service of society and as agents of social change was on display.
The conference ran from May 1-4 and was organized by the International Council of Museums (ICOM)'s International Committee on Management (INTERCOM), the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM) and the Chinese Association of Museums.
Opening speeches were given by Ole Winther, INTERCOM president, David Fleming, FIHRM president, Yui-Tan Chang, chair of the Chinese Association of Museums and director of the National Museum of History, and Lin Chao, general director of TSA. Some 150 people attended, among them representatives from the international museum community and from museums across Taiwan.
Topics highlighted in keynote speeches were the role of museums in the advancement of social harmony, equality and active citizenship. In his speech, Kuang-Nan Huang, advisor to the Chinese Association of Museums in Taiwan, praised TSA's "Mobile Museum" initiative for taking art into the community including urban, remote-island and mountainous areas. Mr. Huang also noted the TSA exhibition series "Tracing our Cultural Legacy: 100 Years of Art History in Taiwan" that was launched in 2003.
Other keynote speakers included Suay Aksoy, chair of the Advisory Committee of the International Council of Museums; Sharon Heal from the Museums Association in London; Akira Gokita, director of the SGI-affiliated Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (TFAM); Ming-Chu Fung, director of the National Palace Museum in Taiwan; and Chi-Yi Chang, deputy magistrate of Taitung County. Yui-Tan Chan also gave a keynote speech as a representative of the National Museum of History. related article Bringing Hope Into Focus by Dan McKinney Cinematographer Dan McKinney describes how his Buddhist practice has enabled him to find within himself the qualities he needs to successfully connect to and portray the humanity of the people whose stories he is telling.
The "Museums in Action" exhibition is on display at TSA's Zhi Shan Culture Center until August 31, 2014.
[Adapted from May 13 and 16, 2014, issues of Harmony Press, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA); photos courtesy of Harmony Press]
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