Discussion on the connotatio­n and compositio­n of museum cultural creativity

KONG NING

Science Education and Museums - - —实践探索— - Shanghai museum

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

0 Introducti­on

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.

3 Conclusion

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 [1]宋向光.博物馆“非营利”机构性质谈[J].中国博物馆,2000

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化产业导刊,2018(5):58-63. (2019-03-28 收稿,2019-04-10 修回)

浅议博物馆文化创意的­涵义与构成// 孔宁

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

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