Exhibiting Minority Culture: An Exploration of Exhibitions of lndigenous Culture in Museums of Taiwan
thesisposted on 17.10.2016, 13:14 by Ching-yueh Hsieh
The research subjects of this study are temporary museum exhibitions of indigenous culture in Taiwan. Via three case studies, each typifying a different approach to exhibition making, this study isolates the factors that affect the process of making museum exhibitions of indigenous culture in Taiwan, examines the effects that exhibition making has on the exhibited subject and delineates the nature and characteristics of such exhibitions themselves. The key findings of this study are that such factors as the rules and resources generated by cultural policy, administration and performance evaluation, the values, exhibition-making experience and reflexive insights -of exhibition planners, and the relationships among key actors in the exhibition-making process function to both constrain and enable the process; and via a mutually interlocking, mutually influencing means construct the exhibition content. The common characteristics produced during the process include 1) rule and resource constraint and enablement, 2) a marked effect on the exhibition produced by multiple-status actors, 2) mutual validation or recognition as the starting point of relationships between actors, and 4) reciprocity as the core behaviour in interpersonal relationships during the process. This study also examines the effects that the making of such exhibitions has on the exercise and development of indigenous rights in Taiwan. Among its discoveries are that top-down cultural policy intended to promote the exhibition-making development of local-level museums ends up narrowing their cultural representation options. Also, cooperation between exhibition planners and the source community can promote indigenous cultural self-determination but also can constrain cultural representation diversity and produce power inequalities within the source community. Based on the findings from its various case studies, this research provides recommendations for concrete ways that museums can foster the enhanced understanding and exercise of indigenous rights.