Museum Voices

Voices from the Fourth Session of the C.E.A. Museums Cooperation Initiative 4th Dialogue

Jun 7, 2024

The Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt stood as one of the ancient world's most extensive and consequential repositories of knowledge. It was an integral component of the Mouseion, the institution that laid the groundwork for the modern concept of a museum. Both museums and libraries share a common purpose: the stewardship of collections that encapsulate human history, creativity, and innovation. In the contemporary era, these venerable institutions find themselves grappling with profound challenges stemming from the rapid evolution of technology. The fourth session of the C.E.A. Museums Cooperation Initiative 4th Dialogue, themed "The Future of Museums and Public Libraries", brought together eight high-level guests from various countries to delve deeply into how we should address these challenges.




Jie Ding, Director of Center for International Relations, Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies

We will discuss this from three dimensions. The first is the dimension of the subject, where we discuss the differences and symbiosis between museums and public libraries. The second is the dimension of time, focusing on the future of museums and public libraries while also reviewing their histories. The third is the dimension of relationships, where we explore the future relationships between humans and museums and public libraries, as well as the relationships under new technological conditions such as digitalization, informatization, and platformization.




Louis Godart, Former Cultural Advisor of Three Italian Presidents

Museums and libraries are the temples of memory. Let me remember the message contained in papyrus from the period of Ramesses II, 13th century BC, now in the British Museum: "Man disappears, his body returns to dust, his fellows become earth, but the book perpetuates the memory of him. Better a book than a solid house or a temple in the far West, or a stronghold or a stele erected in a sanctuary.... The wise prophets have disappeared, and their names would be forgotten if their writings did not preserve their memory."




Chao Chen, Director of Shanghai Library

The future is indefinable, much like greatness is unscripted. However, in this world and era filled with uncertainty, libraries can confidently chart their course by embracing three guiding principles: openness, inclusivity, and intelligence.




Junjie Ten, Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Chairman of the Shanghai Television Artists Association

Undoubtedly, while the traditional static approach to exhibitions in museums and libraries remains significant, it's no longer sufficient. Leveraging contemporary technological advancements, particularly in film and television, becomes imperative. It's crucial and urgent to utilize all audiovisual means to enrich, amplify, and extend the knowledge, information, and value of the static treasures within libraries and museums.




Jyri Eskola, Architect, Partner PES-Shanghai, China Development Director

The vision for Library 2.0 is to become the living room of the modern city. It is a place for learning, connecting, developing, and collaborating, or simply for hanging out. While new designs, functions, and purposes of physical spaces are inevitable, what remains constant is that everyone can access it equally and have the opportunity to broaden their horizons, regardless of the media they use.




Qian Wu, Artist

Beyond artistic creation, artists also seek recognition from academic institutions. Museums and art galleries play a crucial role in inspiring and validating artistic talent. In fact, one of the primary purposes of establishing art museums around the world has been to provide exhibition opportunities for artists while simultaneously collecting their works.




Jewel Jiang, New Media Artist and Curator, Chair of Department of Drama, Film and Television Art Design, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts

The topic I am sharing today is: The Future of Museums – Theatrical Expression of Digital Humanities. This involves presenting digital humanities research in a theatrical and immersive manner across a wider range of stage spaces. We are pursuing two main directions: new media in traditional spaces and digital exhibitions.




Changhong Bai, Dean of Nankai University Business School

Our extensive research in collaboration with TikTok has revealed a new phenomenon: museums on TikTok are transforming into a vibrant cultural hub. TikTok data demonstrates that museums have become popular destinations among young people. This trend manifests in three ways: TikTok provides a new approach for virtual museum visits, serves as a key platform for stimulating museum tourism, and fosters innovative educational models through online courses.