Discussion on the connotation and composition of museum cultural creativity
Abstract In recent years, museum cultural creativity has received unprecedented attention from the government. However, compared with the practical development, there is relatively scarce theoretical research on this topic. this paper analyzes the most basic definition, classification, and essence of museum cultural creativity, points out the connection and difference between museum cultural undertakings and museum cultural creative industry, and proposes that all creative labor with museum intellectual property rights should belong to the category of museum cultural creativity. This paper discusses the cultural and creative products launched by shanghai museum, to provide some reflections on the practice and development of museum cultural and creative work in the future.
Keywords museum cultural creativity, product classification, non-profit, profit-making
While museums are becoming a part of the daily life for the public, the cultural and creative industry is also booming in the field of museums. Over a period of time, "museum cultural creativity" has become a heated topic amid the society, and the integration of museums, cultural creativity, and cultural and creative industries has also become a new research hotspot. However, compared to the priority given to practice, there is relatively scarce theoretical research on museum cultural creativity. Rather, more attention is given to concrete cultural and creative products. Sticking to this point, this paper will focus on the most basic definition, classification, and essence of museum cultural creativity for discussion, so as to clarify the connotation and composition, and to put forward some thoughts on the practice and development of the museum cultural and creative work in the future.
1 The concept of museum cultural creativity
Through some commodities as media, the information of the exhibition can be conveyed to the visitors, which can help them to better understand the exhibits. Museum cultural and creative products refer to those special products sold in museums or e-commerce platforms, innovatively extracting and using the cultural and artistic elements of cultural heritages, with appreciation, commemoration and practicality combined in design and production. The muse
um commemorative products are developed by the organizations with the attributes and functions of a museum, using the collection, display and characteristics of the museum as the source, adding creative design and life aesthetics, popular trends and other factors. The above descriptions show that, "physical commodity" is the core of the general public perception and industry practice of museum cultural creativity, which reflects the two problems that are currently prevalent in the interpretation of "museum cultural creativity": First, the "commodity-centered" concept is emphasized, in many cases the cultural and creative product is confounded with "artistic derivatives" or "tourist souvenirs" in the process of developing cultural and creative products in many museums. Second, "commodity", an economic concept, is highlighted, and cultural creativity is simply regarded as a subsidiary of museum undertakings, which is different from the traditional, core museum undertakings.
It is shown that the cultural and creative work of museums in our country is still in its infancy. For most museums and heritage institutions, museum cultural creativity has not yet become an organic component of the museum work, nor an integral part of the museum systematic delivery of cultural connotations to the public. For the purpose of clarifying the concept and composition of the term "museum cultural creativity", we have to analyze the existing problems and possible future changes in the interpretation from the perspective of development.
1.1 Expansion of the concept of museum cultural creativity
(1) Changes in the functions of museums have led to the diversification of museums
The concept of "commodity-centered" in museum cultural creativity is largely due to the stagnated perception of museum functions. The birth of the museum was indeed accompanied by the essence of elitism. For a long period of time, museum's primary purpose is to collect and preserve precious objects, and to provide research, display and education services for the nobles, experts and scholars as well. It was not until the British Museum and the Louvre Museum were officially opened to the public respectively that the museums became a public place. In the 1970s, the trend of thought in new museology rose in the west, starting to pay more attention to the relationship between museums and the public.
In 2007, International Council of Museums adopted the amended statutes. The definition of museum is revised in the statues. Compared to the previous version, "education" has been put in the first place instead of "study". It seems that this is merely an adjustment of the word order in expression. In fact, it shows the international museums community's emphasis on the social responsibility of museums in recent years. It officially declared that the museum has completed its transition from being "commodity-centered" to "people-centered". In the latest revision of "Museum Regulations" of China, the definition of museum was also adjusted accordingly.
From serving social elites to catering to the mass culture, the museum's transition and development not only highlight the role and status of the public, but also indicates that the museum's functions will continue to expand to serve the general public. The current stage of developing the museum's cultural commodities is obviously unable to meet the development trend of the museum's social roles, nor can it reflect the connotation and essence of museum cultural creativity.
(2) Changes in the public demand herald there will be an diversity of museum cultural creativity
As non-profit organizations, China's museums have always keep themselves in a popularized, socially secured, and non-profitable position for a long time. Most of the work of the museum is also carried out aiming at such purposes. However, till now, the core values and functions of traditional museums
have been quietly undergoing a transition. The continuous growth of economic output has led to the following phenomena: the continuous upgrade of the increasing people's living standards, the greatly increased disposable income; generally increased leisure time, self-provisioning time becoming another kind of wealth; the gradual improvement of education level, the combination of aesthetic interest and consumption choices. The foregoing led to the changes in the structure of daily demands of the public, and specifically, the spiritual consumption demand represented by cultural needs and the aesthetic and leisure trend of lifestyle. This pursuit of spiritual consumption is bound to the economic factors or operational factors which are increasingly infiltrate into the daily operation of the museum.
In such circumstance, the cultural services provided by museums need to break through the constraints of traditional work patterns in terms of type, method and quality. It is mainly reflected in three aspects: cultural services of higher standards, more diversified cultural choices, and more engaging cultural experience. The discourse dominance of the museum has been disrupted in a certain sense. The public don't want to be the listener or receiver of one-way display and output, but to be an equal participant in the activities. Actively obtaining and sharing effective expression and communication has become part of the core culture represented by museums.
Therefore, the economic meaning of what we usually call "museum cultural creativity" is only an objective form of existence, and a reasonable embodiment of the public's active choice of cultural services. In fact, the museum as a "non-profit institution", its real connotation should be "not for profitable purpose" rather than "not allowed to make profit". Though it is different from the traditional public welfare nature, with the continuous development of the society, museum cultural creativity will no longer be affiliated to the museum, but it will rather play an irreplaceable role in expanding service coverage and improving service accuracy, making it possible for museums to better meet the growing spiritual and cultural needs of the public.
1.2 A new interpretation of the concept of museum cultural creativity
In summary, "museum cultural creativity" is no longer confined to the "tangible" approach, but it is increasingly shown in a variety of expressions. It is also no longer limited to the economic meaning of "commodities", but is constantly combined with the traditional museum work, expanding the diversified development of the museum cause. The concept of "museum cultural creativity" has been greatly expanded. In fact, though "museum cultural creativity" seems to be an emerging concept, the existence and development of museum, as a cultural institution, have always closely related to "cultural creativity". For the public, the most intuitive understanding of the museum is the various exhibitions that are on there, and the exhibition itself is a cultural phenomenon created or innovated by museum practitioners using cultural heritages as elements, and organizing research materials with different media or means. The cultural and creative achievements are reflected in display. Thus from the perspective of cultural undertakings, museum cultural creativity has a long history.
Therefore, the concept of "museum cultural creativity" can be very broad. Broadly speaking, the commercial cultural creativity is included, and non-profit cultural undertakings can also be included. Cultural undertakings are popularized and have social security attributes; cultural and creative industries are selective and have economic attributes. The only difference between them lies in visitors and management models. Their common nature lies in the use of various media and means to innovate or recreate specific cultural elements. The cultural creative achievements of different attributes can be expressed and
obtained in different ways; however, they both play beneficial roles in promoting the social development. Narrowly speaking, museum cultural creativity generally only refers to the cultural creative industry in the general public's understanding. However, as previously analyzed that it should cover all aspects of the museum work, just like the traditional museum culture undertakings, not only focus on the cultural commodities we are already familiar with. "The sum of creative labor of developing high value-added products rely on creating and enhancing the museum collection resources in various ways, through the development and application of intellectual property rights" is "museum cultural creative industry". Museum cultural creative industry complements the cultural undertakings, and they complement each other to form museum cultural services that meet the modern needs of the public.
2 The composition and types of museum cultural and creative products
Museum cultural and creative industry and museum cultural undertakings complements each other, and together they constitute the two pillars of the museum work, one is providing services for the public to better understand the important values of cultural heritages, another one is providing internal workers the intrinsic meanings of protecting, studying, discovering and utilizing the witnesses of human social development. Thus, what is the composition of the museum cultural and creative products in the practical work since museum cultural and creative products are no longer concretely limited in certain cultural commodities types, and become related to all aspects of the museum work?
In recent years, in the process of promoting the development of the cultural and creative work, several cultural institutions including Shanghai Museum have gradually expanded the composition of the museum cultural and creative products. Through practical research and development, new development possibilities are given to the cultural and creative industries. "Cultural and creative products" refer to "the creative work of museums that can be provided to the consumer market to be used and consumed, fulfilling the needs of the public, including tangible goods and intangible services, organizations, concepts or their combinations".
2.1 Tangible cultural and creative products
These tangible products include traditional physical commodities with elements of museum collections of cultural heritages that are sold through bricks and mortar stores or online e-commence platforms, television, and other sales platforms; they also include new media resources, such as authorized images, applications, games. Based on information technology, that are provided by different means, and include a variety of books published by the museum as well. As mentioned above, this kind of cultural and creative product is the starting point and original source of museum cultural and creative industries. It is also the most important form of cultural and creative product for most museums. At the same time, this type of product is also widely used in other forms of cultural and creative industries such as animation, film, television, which has produced a high added value so far.
Taking Shanghai Museum as an example, since the establishment of its own art company in 1996, on the basis of selling imitations of cultural relics in the 1980s, the elements of precious collection resources were refined, designed, and developed into cultural and creative products. More than 20 000 kinds of products in 10 categories of art and crafts, educational supplies, books, cultural relics imitation products, daily necessities, clothing, jewelry, foods and so on, have been sold to the general public up to now. Initially, the main business was producing a single product based on the characteristics of cultural heritages, then the development started to center around
the changing needs of the public, accordingly a series of product lines were produced including silk scarves, eye masks, wallets of "hundred flowers print", or teacups, coasters, fruit bowls of "blue and white tangled lotus ornaments", and by now a cluster of cultural products based on certain themes are formed in recent years.
For example, the culture relics themed game picture books of The Bronze Kingdom and Playing in Ceramics Kingdom are consecutively launched. And at the same time, such as backpacks, badges, jigsaws, and stationery for teenagers and children were also developed. On one hand, the original story is composed to spread the theoretical knowledge and development history of cultural relics. In addition, there are also board games, paper art models and so on. On the other hand, through virtual reality and augmented reality technology, visitors can use mobile phones, palmtop computers, smart glasses and other media to have a "close interaction" with the cultural relics that are stored in the showcases and warehouses. In coordination with the exhibition "The British Museum: A History of the World in 100 Objects", Shanghai Museum made the first attempt to introduce the original products of the food theme, including cookies, latte arts, and 3D printed chocolates. While being aesthetically pleasing, the quality and taste of the manufacturer's productions are strictly controlled, and these products received good social responses since the white-collar afternoon tea concept is quite popular in Shanghai.
2.2 Intangible cultural and creative products
These intangible products refer to the intangible labor results provided to the public through the information of cultural relics collection or cultural relics and culture related technologies. Compared with the tangible cultural and creative products, intangible products are featured by non-storage, and the simultaneity of production and consumption. This category includes products transformed from achievements in scientific research such as cultural relics protection, testing, restoration and others, service products such as art, leisure, consumption and other atmosphere creation, activity products that meet the cognitive characteristics of different visitors and their varied needs for cultural relics, including educational interactions, cultural performances and media products.
Such cultural and creative products are still new to most museums and the general public, but the demand and development of such products are growing quite fast. During the exhibition "Private Letters of Suzhou Wu School Artists in Shanghai Museum's Collection", Shanghai Museum teamed up with Shanghai Pingtan Troupe to convert the letters of the Wu Men Calligraphy School of the Ming Dynasty into the lyrics of storytelling and ballad singing in Suzhou dialect. In the form of dialect, the political life and family life of Tang Yin, Zhu Yunming, Wu Kuan and other celebrities in regions south of the Yangtze River are vividly reproduced. The troupe performed live in the museum and broadcast online, demonstrating the museum's new ways and methods of interpreting the cultural relics, history, and art. During the exhibition "The Ferryman of Ink World: Dong Qichang's Calligraphy and Painting Art", Shanghai Museum planned a number of collotype copying experiences, and calligraphy and painting appreciation activities as well. The public can personally produce their own intangible cultural heritage collotype prints under the guidance of professional technicians. In the activity "Dong Qichang and his Jiangnan", together with many art masters, the night talks of art and experience of intangible heritage were successfully completed.
If the tangible cultural and creative products have realized the goal of "taking the museum home", then the intangible cultural and creative products have further achieved the vision of "making the cultural heritages alive". In fact, the intangible cultural and creative products becoming more popular reflects
the in-depth development of the society and the changing lifestyle of the public. What the museum can and should offer to the public is an open and inclusive cultural space, with a sensible, touchable cultural experience to trigger thinking, to show individuality, or to satisfy the needs for leisure and entertainment. Such a form of direct connection between museums and the public is more in line with the functions and values of museums in the modern context.
In fact, there are also cross-overs and supplements between different kinds of cultural and creative products, and the development of tangible and intangible cultural and creative product portfolios is also becoming increasingly common. Such cross-overs and supplements are not only popular among the public, but also facilitate the unified research and development of the institutions and branding of museums. Moreover, almost every special exhibition of Shanghai Museum is launched with corresponding tangible cultural and creative commodities, intangible cultural and creative activities and services. In the final analysis, the types of cultural and creative commodities are just an external manifestation of reasonable museum collection resources. The types will continue to expand, and more importantly, they expand with operability and reproducibility. Intangible cultural and creative activities and services as a kind of intellectual development, whether in the form of creative environment by new technologies, new channels established by new ideas, or multi-media in new formats, are also an integral part of museum cultural creativity.
The vigorous exploration and development of the museum cultural creativity touches upon different levels of the national strategic planning, museum development and public cultural needs. It shoulders the creative transformation and innovative development of the Chinese culture, the promotion of combining cultural resources with modern production and life, and the promotion of spiritual life of the public and diversified consumer demand. Clarifying the connotation and composition is only the first step in the study of museum cultural creativity. The development of museum cultural creativity is promising, and there will be continuous theoretical exploration and work practice in the future. References 宋向光.博物馆“非营利”机构性质谈[J].中国博物馆，2000
化产业导刊，2018（5）：58-63. （2019-03-28 收稿，2019-04-10 修回）
作者单位：上海博物馆摘 要：近年来，在社会各界的高度重视下，博物馆文化创意得到了前所未有的关注，然而相较于实践先行的步伐，其理论研究则相对匮乏。 本文就博物馆文化创意最基本的定义、分类及其本质进行了分析与梳理，指出了博物馆文化事业与博物馆文创产业的联系与区别，提出所有具有博物馆知识产权的创造性劳动都应属于博物馆文化创意的范畴。 同时，结合上海博物馆推出的文创产品，为博物馆文创工作的实践与发展提供一定的思考。
关键词：博物馆文化创意 产品分类 公益性 经营性