Examining the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum in China

Yi, Sabrina Hong 2013, Examining the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum in China, in ACAC 2013 : Proceedings of the Asian conference on arts and cultures, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 168-177.

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Title Examining the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum in China
Author(s) Yi, Sabrina Hong
Conference name Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures (2013 : Bangkok, Thailand)
Conference location Bangkok, Thailand
Conference dates 13-14 Jun. 2013
Title of proceedings ACAC 2013 : Proceedings of the Asian conference on arts and cultures
Editor(s) Supasetsiri, Prit
Mahavarakorn, Supak
Publication date 2013
Conference series Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures
Start page 168
End page 177
Total pages 10
Publisher Srinakharinwirot University
Place of publication Bangkok, Thailand
Keyword(s) China
ecomuseum
examination
community-based
cultural inheritance
Summary China hosts some 55 ethnic minority groups, which together account for 8.41% of the Chinese population. These populations reside in predominantly Ethnic Minority Villages presenting great value and culture of their heritage, with living landscape, festivals, architecture and costumes, but the actual living conditions are very poor. Since the 1990s, China has adopted French concept 'ecomuseum', for the conservation of some ethnic villages to relieve the conflict between poverty and heritage conservation. ln short, this concept involves the creation of open-air museums keeping buildings and people in their original sites, with local communities serving as curators managing their own sites, which necessitates democracy in the conservation and interpretation processes. The concept seems ideal for the Chinese government, with its bilateral objectives of heritage conservation and poverty alleviation, without necessitating the relocation of any or buildings. However, does this concept really work? It remains unanswered and the subject of little academic research. In order to examine how successfully these ecomuseums are being managed, two projects has been selected for case studies - the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum. In-depth field studies have been conducted at the two ecomuseums, involving the methodologies of site observation, documentation and semi-structured interviews. This paper reviews the ecomuseum development in China, and then provides detailed critiques and overviews of the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum in terms of their backgrounds, management structures, programs and activities as well as pertinent issues. Based upon these descriptions, it is·identified that the two cases have different management structures and focuses: 1) the Suojia Ecomuseum has been under the management of government authorities whilst the Nandan Ecomuseum has been operated by local villagers, and 2) the focus of the Suojia Ecomuseum has been improving living conditions for the residents, while in Nandan Ecomuseum cultural inheritance has been operated as a core program. However, there is a lack of financial support in both cases. All these issues lead to a discussion that the Nandan Ecomuseum has made greater achievement in terms of being community-based. The conclusions are hence drawn as to the suggestions to Chinese ecomuseums--the sustainability and success requires local villagers as curators as well as external financial assistance. In addition, another and more urgent need is to pass the ethnic cultures and their values to the next generation.
ISBN 9786162960291
Language eng
Field of Research 120107 Landscape Architecture
120199 Architecture not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055238

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