Recognizing Exponential Growth of Museums in Asia,Talks Focus on New Museum Models

Contact: Elaine Merguerian 212.327.9313; [email protected]

Hong Kong (November 21, 2013) — Museum leaders from across Asia, Europe, and North America gathered in Hong Kong today to explore ideas of new models for museums in the twenty-first century. Over 200 attendees are participating in the inaugural Asia Society Arts & Museum Summit, held at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

The two-day event recognizes that the majority of new museums constructed in the next decade will be in Asia, where it has been estimated that over 3,000 new museums are being planned in China alone. Issues addressed at the summit include the challenges and opportunities in the cultural sector today; the developing museum ecology in Asia; and opportunities for professional development and partnerships among museums.

“The Asia Society’s Arts & Museum Summit is designed to create powerful bonds between cultural leaders throughout Asia and America and build vital bridges of understanding through the arts,” says Asia Society President Josette Sheeran. “The Arts & Museum Summit will be held each year, building on Asia Society’s fifty-year history of fostering positive transformation in relations through arts and culture.”

“The past two decades have seen enormous societal changes across Asia that have the potential to catalyze new thinking in the museum field. Our summit brings together key voices to explore a new museum paradigm,” says Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu, who conceived and organized the summit. “Asia Society’s efforts to bring together museum leaders as part of a network began formally with a forum in Beijing in 2012 of 30 museum directors from the United States and China to discuss ways to work together. The Arts & Museum Summit builds on this work and extends it throughout the Asia Pacific region.”

The summit features keynote addresses by Glenn D. Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto and remarks by:
Michael Brand, Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Janet Carding, Director, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Alan Chong, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Caroline Collier, Director, Tate National, London
Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Yongwoo Lee, President, Gwangju Biennale Foundation,Gwangju
Sophie Makariou, Présidente, Musée national des artsasiatiques Guimet, Paris
Jessica Morgan, The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London
Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director, Chhatrapati Shivaji MaharajVastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai
Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
Lars Nittve, Executive Director, M+, Hong Kong
Kim Rorschach, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
Wang Chunchen, Head of Curatorial Research, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing

The discussion may be followed on Twitter using the hashtag#Museums21. Video from the summit will be made available on

Founded over 50 years ago, Asia Society has a long history of groundbreaking exhibitions and cultural diplomacy. Asia Society was one of the first museums to exhibit its collection in China in 1992, and has built a substantial reputation in the region since. See our previous reports on discussions among museum leaders on building greater cultural exchange held in New Delhi in 2011 ( and Beijing in 2012 (

The Arts & Museum Summit is organized by Asia Society New York and held at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Major support for the Summit has been provided by The Getty Foundation. Additional support has been provided by H2 Foundation for Arts and Education, Hallam Chow, The Fanzhi Foundation for Art and Education Limited, and The Mitch and Joleen Julis Contemporary Art Initiative.

Support for Asia Society Museum is provided by Asia Society Contemporary Art Council, Asia Society Friends of Asian Arts, Arthur Ross Foundation, Sheryl and Charles R. Kaye Endowment for Contemporary Art Exhibitions, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities, Hazen Polsky Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

About the Asia Society Arts & Museum Network
The Arts & Museum Summit is part of a new initiative of Asia Society’s Arts & Museum Network, the goal of which is to strengthen arts communities through the creation of opportunities for professional exchange and to share knowledge and expertise among museum professionals globally. The Network consists of a series of ongoing bilateral and multilateral forums, summits, and professional development and capacity-building projects that have been created to provide greater opportunities for exchange and collaboration.

About Asia Society Museum
Asia Society Museum has earned international acclaim for groundbreaking exhibitions that showcase new discoveries in traditional art and introduce exciting new work on the cutting edge of contemporary arts. The Asia Society Museum Collection includes the masterpiece-quality Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, bequeathed to Asia Society in 1979, and a growing contemporary collection of significant works in video and photography. Through exhibitions and related talks, performances, symposia, and film, Asia Society provides a forum for unique issues and viewpoints reflected in Asian arts and culture.