National Museum of History
Almost all creatures have the instinct to take care of their young, so do human beings. It takes several years for a human baby to grow up and be independent. Hence, parents would do everything possible to care for and protect the children, wishing that they can grow up safely. Since ancient times, human beings have designed all kinds of tools to carry their young, providing comforts to the babies and freeing their own hands for other household works. These tools, the so-called baby carriers, utilize different materials and shapes according to climate and geographical and cultural environments.
Besides the formal and practical variations to suit the environment, different baby carriers touch our heart with their infinite possibilities of decorations. However, while the decorative techniques found on baby carriers vary with geographical regions, there's one thing that connects them, the thought of and the prayer for the health and wellbeing of the children. We can imagine how a mother will sew her love of the child on the surface of the baby carrier in the form of many auspicious signs. This not only represents mother's deepest love for children but also embodies the three core element for the culture of baby carriers: fertility, blessings, and protection.
This exhibition is a border-crossing attempt to join academic, cultural, artistic, and industrial forces from the society. It goes beyond the simple display of objects and brings together artistic expression and cultural creative industry. The exhibition has three sections. The section of baby carrier artifacts start with Taiwanese baby carriers of Fujian, Hakka, and Indigenous types and covers relevant artifacts from tribes of Southwestern China and that of other Asian peoples from regions surrounding Taiwan. The section of artistic expression includes the Tree of Life installation created by children and parents together and the Graffiti of Love that touches upon a mother's experiences of raising her children. The section of cultural creative aesthetics displays how contemporary designers find inspiration from totems of Southwestern Chinese minority tribes and integrate these elements with contemporary fashion to create children's apparel that has the warmth of a mother's love.
For this exhibition, they would like to express our deepest appreciation to the Department of Textiles and Clothing at Fu Jen University, Les Enphants Group, Big Ball Earth Care & Humanist Association of Taiwan, and National Museum of Prehistory; they not only provide their treasured collection of baby carriers for this exhibition but also enthusiastically participate in the design of galleries and catalogue, making this exhibition richer and more comprehensive. We hope this exhibition can accompany visitors to experience human civilization and parental love from different perspectives. With this exhibition, we would also like to express our reverence to all mothers.
When: 2 Feb - 10 Aprl 2016 10:00-18:00
Where: National Museum of History
The"National Museum of Historical Artifacts and Fine Arts" was established in a Japanese style building near the Taipei Botanical Garden in 1955. It was renamed the"National Museum of History" (hereafter, "NMH") in 1956 and the building was renovated in a five-floor traditional Chinese Ming and Qing palace style, with four floors for exhibition and staff offices, and one floor for storage. Despite its limited space, the NMH is renowned for its international exhibitions, and its proactive and innovative museum development and educational programs. Various conversions of the building have been carried out over the years to adapt it as a modern space fit for the newest exhibition facilities and requirements.
The NMH's collection originally consisted of artifacts from the Henan Museum that were relocated to Taiwan in 1949, and of relics recovered from the Japanese after the Sino-Japanese War. The collection included the bronzes unearthed in Xinzheng, Hui and Anyang (in Henan Province), Pre-Qin pottery unearthed in Loyang, Han green-glazed pottery, the dancer and musician figurines of the Six Dynasties, Tang tri-colored pottery and other treasures. The arrival of allocated artifacts and donations from private collectors gradually enriched the Museum's collection and enlarged its archives.
The museum collections continued to grow with annual acquisitions obtained with government procurement budget allocations and donations from private collectors. The annual acquisitions provided the museum with artifacts and relics from mainland China, Taiwan, and other countries. The collections date back to the Neolithic period and the ancient Chinese dynasties Shang, Zhou, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, up to the contemporary era.
As an institution concerned with the preservation of cultural artifacts and with social education, a museum has a long-term, innate worth and a function as a hallmark of culture. The International Council of Museums has identified three missions for a museum: Educate, Entertain and Enrich (the 3Es). As an institution, a museum should achieve its social mission through collection, research, exhibition and education. As far as the public's needs are concerned, the modern museum should strive to improve its capacity to communicate with visitors. A museum is concerned with spreading knowledge, and a place where people wish to communicate sincerely and provide visitors with poetic experiences.
The National Museum of History has established a solid visitor base by organizing many special exhibitions. The museum will continue to bring in international exhibitions to enrich visitors' cultural vision. In addition, the museum will consider how to reemphasize its fundamental features by confirming its orientation and functions and clarifying the distinctions between it and the National Palace Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the National Museum of Taiwan History. It is expected that the National Museum of History will positively establish its own features, hone its staff's research and exhibition planning skills, develop a unique permanent exhibition and distinctive educational activities, and enhance its capacity to operate on a sustainable footing. Building on that foundation, it will bring its specialization into play both at home and abroad, to become a first-class international museum.
A history museum is an important institution in the writing of the history and the construction of the discourses of a nation. The National Museum of History is expected to become an open field for interpreting the history of a living museum. Its visitors will therefore no longer be passive recipients of history, but people who can actively judge and discuss history together.
Esteem for the collection and consideration for the people are the ultimate concerns of the museum enterprise. A museum should strive to develop its collections and pursue the interests of visitors. We hope to enable the public to become more familiar with museums and develop an interests in and esteem for areas of museum specialization. A museum should also avoid being a political vassal or a part of a commercial machine. In this spirit, museums in Taiwan will become true cultural organizations with 3E functions.