Special exhibitions and national museums in Taiwan: an investigation
thesisposted on 15.10.2015, 14:10 by Chungju Lin
One hundred years ago, the museum was founded in Taiwan by the Japanese government. This “new” cultural institution did not exist in the past, so the distance between the museum and the public was to be expected. On the other hand, the expositions broadly took place around Taiwan, and although most of them were mainly for commercial purposes, these exhibitions have become a form of social memory for most of the Taiwanese people and to allow for experiencing art and world wonders (Lu Shao-Li 2005). In the 1990’s, holding special exhibitions in Taiwan’s national museums was a vital strategy to increase the visit rate and international exchange. Because these special exhibitions were wildly accepted by the general public, the special exhibition culture in Taiwan was formed. This special exhibition culture creates the special visitor community which views special exhibitions as their major leisure activities. In order to attract large amounts of special exhibition visitors, the museum undertakes certain special exhibitions that might not match the purpose of the establishment. This situation has been questioned by Taiwanese scholars and cultural critics. It is my intention to investigate special exhibitions in Taiwan's national museums to find how they influence the museum and how the museum has been changed. The National Museum of History in Taiwan is my case study and also the major target of discussion, because this particular museum has been famous for being a special exhibition venue and, also, this old museum once was the most important museum for international exchange in Taiwan. The special exhibition has been an important medium to convey art and cultural concepts to the Taiwanese public; therefore, by exploring special exhibitions and the relationship with museums, I attempt to discover this tendency for future museum strategies.