Museum Theory and Practice: The Way Forward for China
Evening presentation by Dr. Shan Jixiang, Director, The Palace Museum
In Putonghua with simultaneous interpretation
A free live webcast in English will be available during this presentation. To watch, please tune in to Asiasociety.org/hong-kong/live at 6:30 pm HKT.
In his first public speech in Hong Kong since being appointed Director of The Palace Museum in Beijing in January 2012, Dr. Shan Jixiang will propose a way forward for museums in China. Dr. Shan argues that Chinese museums should no longer just be agents for the collection of art and the static display of history and heritage, but evolve into something that is most fitting for China, marrying her unique cultural heritage with her rapid development, while answering to the growing demand for arts and culture by the general population. By enhancing their built architecture, scientific research, content, accessibility, and services, etc., Chinese museums should migrate from growing in numbers, to growing in their overall quality; Dr. Shan also proposes that Chinese museums should extend beyond physical spaces in order to serve many functions, including becoming drivers for education, infusing positive energy to promote cross-cultural understanding, and much more.
Since starting his career almost 30 years ago, Dr. Shan has maintained his passion for and focus on heritage conservation, in particular the conservation of historic cities and districts. He has probably walked and surveyed nearly every historic street in Beijing and has presided over the research and implementation of many pioneering heritage conservation plans, among them the "Beijing Imperial City Zone Preservation Plan," "Forbidden City Moat Preservation Plan," and "Old Summer Palace Preservation Plan."
In his previous role as the Director General of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), Dr. Shan represented the Chinese government and the country's planning and cultural preservation professions. In this position Shan helped secure passage of China's landmark National Historic Cultural Heritage Protection Law and oversaw preservation planning for all of China's National and World Heritage sites. Prior to SACH, Shan was the Director of Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, and Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning. He was a member of the 10th and 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and a member of the Historical City Protection Committee of Beijing. In witness to the ever-accelerating pace of urbanization, Shan continues to advocate for adequate legislation to protect cultural relics and sites.
Dr. Shan is the author of seven books, including Urban Development and Cultural Heritage Preservation, Functional City to Cultural City, and From Cultural Relics Preservation to Cultural Heritage Protection and multiple professional research papers. He was the recipient of the International Leadership Award from the American Planning Association in 2005. A senior architect and registered planner, he holds a doctoral degree in Urban Planning and Design from the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University.