Poshin Chiang

Chiang, Po-Shin.JPG

First of all, let me just say how honored I feel to have been invited to take part in the CMAM 2017 Annual Conference. I would like to thank the conference organizers for inviting me, and also to express my thanks to the Foundation for its assistance. The theme of this year’s conference was The Roles and Responsibilies of Museums in Civil Society. It just so happens that this theme relates closely to the second wave of new museum establishment that has been underway in Taiwan over the past two years, and as a result I found the theme very stimulating. Because several cities in Taiwan have recently been upgraded to Special Municipality status, over the next three years there will be at least five new public art museums opening in Taiwan. The challenge for these new museums will be to build up a collection that reflects a global outlook, while also embodying local knowledge and contemporary ideas, and to make the museum into a place capable of meeting the needs of the civil society of the future.

With more than 280 art museum directors and curators from all over the world attending this year’s Annual Conference, I was privileged to be able to take part in discussions with the directors and curators of many of the world’s leading art museums, and to hear a considerable number of presentations that embodied both creative thinking and wisdom, from which I have learned a great deal. The formal and informal exchanges of views and ideas, both inside and outside the conference venue, inspired a number of fascinating debates; I found the ideas put forward by several of the museum directors from South Asia, Latin America and Scandinavia particularly stimulating. I was also very impressed by the high academic standards of the exhibition accompanying the conference, and the visits to related organizations following the conference brought home to me just how much Singapore is doing to preserve its cultural assets and to utilize them effectively, and just how strikingly original the current trends in contemporary art in Singapore are. Attending this annual conference has shown me how a conference can be given a real international vision. Once again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part and to have such a valuable experience.