A fresh look at the roles of the museum

World November 01, 2017 13:23

By The Nation

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National Gallery Singapore is playing host to the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM)’s 2017 Annual Conference. Taking place from November 10 to 12 and marking a first for Southeast Asia, the conference is expected to draw 280 thought leaders, museum directors, curators and museum professionals from some 50 countries



Taking place in a different city each year, the conference provides a forum for members and delegates to discuss and share current museological and curatorial concerns. This year’s theme is “The Roles and Responsibilities of Museums in Civil Society” and the aim is to evaluate and examine afresh the roles of museums and their public functions, reflecting on how museums can continue to be effective forums in society where different communities can share and debate differences through non-violent means.

Speakers will address the three sub-themes, namely: “Art and the City: From Local to Transnational?”, “Re-Learning Southeast Asia” and “What do Museums Collect, and How?”. Delegates will be able to encounter different perspectives and debate through facilitated small-group conversations on topics extending from the conference theme and of urgent relevance to the field: museum governance, collections and censorship.

“The theme of this year’s conference is particularly timely in this global climate of upheavals and uncertainty. If building a more inclusive society that embraces diversity and change requires dialogue and understanding, how museums and art can bridge gaps and bring people and perspectives together must be acknowledged and better understood,” said Dr Eugene Tan, director of the National Gallery Singapore.

Among the speakers are Nikos Papastergiadis from the University of Melbourne, Patrick D Flores from the University of the Philippines, Donna De Salvo from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and Gridthiya Gaweewong from the Jim Thompson Art Centre, Bangkok.

For more information, visit www.Cimam.org.