Exploring Digital Horizons With Asia’s Cultural Institutions

How has Asia’s cultural landscape emerged from the past year’s challenges with new resilience and digital approaches? Join Eric Longo, Executive Director of MCN, and Fei Lu, Staff Writer at Jing Culture & Commerce, in a conversation with Asian cultural organizations, including China’s Museum 2050, Tokyo’s teamLab, and the National Gallery Singapore, on what digital means to them now. Learn about the region’s digital innovation and vitally, how they’re planning for a digital future.

  1. Takashi Kudo, Communications Director, teamLab
  2. Chris Lee, Assistant Chief Executive, National Gallery Singapore
  3. Leigh Tanner, Co-Founder, Museum 2050

  1. Eric Longo, Executive Director, MCN
  2. Fei Lu, Staff Writer, Jing Culture & Commerce


Museum Computer Network 02:37
Good evening everyone. Again, my name is Eric Longo, I'm the executive director of MCN, and I'm here tonight with fate, new whose staff writer with Jing Culture & Commerce who are our media partners. This year, as they were last year. And I'm super happy to welcome you to exploring digital horizons with Asia's cultural organizations, and I'm going to let Fei, kind of introduce us to that little discussion we're going to have today, and morning in Asia, obviously.

Unknown Speaker 03:38
Well thanks for your introduction, Eric. So just a little brief intro about Jing Culture & Commerce, we cover the latest creative tech trends across the cultural sector, and includes digital innovations text and our projects the audience engagement strategies, and our reporting highlights how technology is reshaping the industry for Cultural Museum and Cultural professionals and 2020 once in a really challenging year for museums and cultural institutions and that's why I'm excited to discuss, you know how institutions, Asia have digitally innovated with the panelists. So today we have Chris Lee, the Assistant Chief Executive National Gallery Singapore. We have Leigh Tanner the co founder of museum 2050 and Takashi Kudo the communications director of teamLab so Could everyone briefly just give us a background about your respective institutions.

Museum Computer Network 04:26
Yeah, let's start with Leigh.

Unknown Speaker 04:30
Hey, um, yeah, I'm, I'm Leigh Tanner. So museum 2050 which I founded with my co founder and Nicole Ching. We call ourselves a platform for exploring the future of institutions through the lens of China, obviously there's been this insane museum boom here in China. And there's 1000s of new museums, and so really we founded me DAM 2015 to help support the arts workers that are working within that space. Give them career development opportunities, but also to support you know young researchers arts professionals writing about what's happening in China and the new innovative models we were seeing out of China, and how they might be applied elsewhere. So we hold an annual conference we do Crew Development Workshops we do publications public programs, and just anything we can do to help kind of support the museum community here in China and internationally.

Museum Computer Network 05:23
It's great, thank you and you're joining us from Shanghai, Shanghai, yeah. And it's in the future tomorrow morning at 8am. Thank you, Lee tekashi. Oh, you're joining us from Tokyo 9am

Unknown Speaker 05:39
Oh yeah, from the future on charts day and the night aims, it's, I'm trying to shoot from chemo abs, and it's, it's an I try to explain a little bit about it and the team labs, it's an A we're founded on 2001 and it's we tried to create audits and the something it's an output using of digital technologies, and it was sometimes it's a way of doing it so, like, exhibitions, or record, like it's more like any marks it's experience, it's much more I can say is that is something we have done, and we are doing in tacos. We're doing it now in San Francisco on the Miami's, and in Shanghai and in the Singapore's

Museum Computer Network 06:26
your net art collective interdisciplinary art collective essentially,

Unknown Speaker 06:30
we call it in the art productive Sunday Tara will be presented by the gallery in New York.

Museum Computer Network 06:36
Yay, thank you for joining us and Chris, Chris, you're joining us, obviously from Singapore, and it's also 8AM where you are. Tell us about you and the National Gallery of Singapore.

Unknown Speaker 06:50
Yeah sure Eric. Good morning, good evening, good afternoon if anyone's from Europe. Yeah National Gallery Singapore. Actually we're a relatively new museum. We focus on modern South Singapore and Southeast Asian art, we have the world's largest collection for Singapore in Southeast Asian art about seven and a half 1000 artworks in our collection. At the moment, we've just celebrated our fifth year anniversary in November last year so we're in our sixth year just coming up to the sixth year mark, in a couple of months. And yeah, we've had the great privilege of taking over two national monument buildings in the center of Singapore. We've got quite a bit of space and you see a picture of the gallery behind me. We have about 660 4000 square meters in the building, not all of it usable gallery space. The tricky thing about conservation building is you, it's not the most ideal exhibition space but we're making do. And we've actually worked with Team labs, with a few of our programs before so familiar that I don't know if the catchy, but we definitely know of the company and with the collective and writing.

Unknown Speaker 08:11
I remember.

Museum Computer Network 08:15
That's good, that's good, good. Well, thank you Chris. And thank you all for joining us and so on that note, I think, say what you just guide like basically guide us into the conversation and, and what we're going to be talking about today,

Unknown Speaker 08:30
of course. So, this year's theme is, what is digital, and we thought we'd look at the topic from three different angles, which is leadership and strategy storytelling and technologies, and financial sustainability. So, you know we have a couple questions written down and Eric

Museum Computer Network 08:46
right now. Sure, sure, sure. Absolutely and obviously it's what is digital now so this year you know in 2021 and, and the whole purpose of doing this kind of around the globe and with, you know, a spotlight on different regions of the world it's really to learn from your geographic perspective, you know what is digital now in your respective areas so the front leadership strategy the past years, digital pivots, obviously that we've done because of the pandemic have enabled museums to reach beyond, you know the geographic borders and beyond their walls really so to you, what will the truly international or digitally accessible cultural venue look like in the future, I don't know who wants to go first.

Unknown Speaker 09:35
I can give that a shot. Yeah, yeah. Great. Go ahead. So for us, like I said we're, you know, a physical museum to start with. We've had digital innovation and digital technology on our agenda since we opened, But really, you know, it has been secondary, in terms of the experience to our audiences so far, it's complimentary it's not the main thing. We still very much believe in the physical experience right, but with the pandemic we will close for just about three months last year. So we very quickly had to learn how to pivot to that digital. So, you know, like most of the museum's we've taken a lot of our content experiences online we can talk more about that later, including, you know, large scale festivals we've gone from physical festivals to digital festivals, and now two hybrid formats. And in terms of looking at the future and your question about what does you know, an international museum look like, I guess. To put it simply, and it's everyone's talking about a museum without walls, but we're thinking about it in terms of how can we leverage digital to outreach, and to create as much of a digital twin as possible, right, so with the pandemic. Not many people can come and visit the physical space we still very to encourage that, but how do we get them as close to a real life experience as possible, even if they're not stepping in. And the other aspect of that is not just engaging with the physical building but engaging with our content. Our collection and engaging in a long standing journey and relationship with them in and outside of the museum so that applies to both our local audiences, as well as people who, who are not residing in Singapore, and we're already seeing some aspects of that actually we've got a children's festival called children's beloved banally, which we do every two years. This year, which is our fourth edition. We've collaborated with one of the museums in the Netherlands, and they've taken our physical program and installed it in the Netherlands, but we're also collaborating across borders, so imagine there's a physical experience to the Dutch audience, but they can also participate online and cool to be art with the artists with the local artists that commissioning, Our works in Singapore, and then from that digital interaction we manifested physically in both museums, so that that's what I mean by digital twin it's not all digital, there's a physical recreation, but they can collaborate online, and then it comes to the borderless right, directing, not just with us but with our artists and with other local audiences so that's kind of how we're seeing it at the moment.

Museum Computer Network 12:43
Very interesting, very interesting. I'm sure there would be some reactions to I'd love to hear what Ryan and other people on this car would have to say. Lee, do you do, what is that, what is that, how does that resonate with you and museums in China.

Unknown Speaker 13:00
Yeah I mean I think that the, you know there's many different formats that exists here that maybe are less common, I think when people think of the museum certainly somewhere like New York or London they have a very specific, you know format and structure in mind, I would say that like a lot of institutions hear from just the way that the digital ecosystem works in China, you know from the beginning digital engagement and the way that they're like presenting themselves and interacting with people. And, you know, WeChat or Weibo or in the internet space is an integral part of, you know their consideration so I think, you know, going along with what Chris was saying I think that you're seeing more and more that compliment that that like the digital and the in person experience being in communication, rather than like one having, you know, you know, more important than the other, even we organized a conference in Hong Kong a few years ago and Michael qualm who used to be with them would, and who founded X Museum in Beijing was speaking, and you know that x Museum and was are known for being quite good with digital and tons of engagement online and you know a lot of people come into their space because of the way that the museum and visitors, the museum engage with online and so, you know, a very cheeky audience member asked him you know would you choose your digital presence for your in person, like inperson footprint, and he was kind of like well I mean how do you choose because, you know, you need people in the door like the thing about digital is it get people coming to the physical space. And you know as Chris mentioned, like in this time where sometimes you can't physically be there or people can't travel, vice versa and so these two things it's like how do you choose your favorite hands right so I think, you know, the idea of being truly digital Of course there are institutions that are setting themselves up with only an online presence only a non physical space and I mean museum 2050 We also don't have a space, you know, we work with a different institutions and we exist. I temperately And also, you know, annually, but also somewhat sporadically. But I would say that like both digital and in person, you know they should be in conversation they should be complementing each other rather than one having authority over the other.

Museum Computer Network 15:14
Right, right, they're complimentary Takashi, how does that resonate with you I mean you you create, you obviously are, you know, creates like experiences for artists and across countries and platforms and with different medium, but how does, how does the digital and the, you know, in person relate to each other in in your world.

Unknown Speaker 15:38
So like in Farsi it's all like that, when, and it's an I also is not against anything so it's quite much. It's not like in a personal opinions, but all I can say is like no, like a, I'm going to try to answer by opinion Aten a two phase of data in the team lab it's one it's an organizer, it's a much more like an A, we're making it to like in the team Rob boulder so I teamed up with some couple exhibitions, back, and it's just one ha No, like, we try to, of course, it's in the taking care of the agenda like and most of the reason our exhibitions like an artist side is it's much more immersive and it's very much physical like experience, so we try to bring the people to be inside. It's now our imagination, like a creativity with physical bodies, but it's all organizers. Organizers point of views, if we try to attend, like in a controlled, it's an A People's, like, like a ticket systems and stuff. And it's a. And it's, I can say all due to like an artist side it's for example like, like, geographic, it's like differences. For example, I can, we are doing it on San Francisco, and it's Shanghai. now in Tokyo in the borders, but it's all work it's a collecting like pseudo, it's an internet, so it's for example like if you do some things in tacos, it's gonna it's no, like, not frames but in general, like in a swimming studio in San Francisco I just see my Shanghai, and it's an art form of creativity and there is no like nationalities or a dragon or borders or geographic and the difference, and it's right now, it's no like now, at AMA on quarantined, it's like, observations, it, because it's not just small like an after a business trips, and it's coming back to their tacos, like in two weeks ago, and now with an I am like a meter all the different isolations, and it now I really feel of the channel, like nationalities, always recommend bounder borders,

Museum Computer Network 18:02
I think, and I see I see pages one of our attendees who has worked in China actually and does has a borderless Museum, it would be interesting to hear your point of view page maybe at the end of this, If you want, do you want to take another question from us and move from from there.

Unknown Speaker 18:21
Yeah, so

Unknown Speaker 18:22
I'm really curious about, you know, how have the local audiences in your respective regions, how have their, you know, cultural appetites changed in the past couple years and, you know, in addition, what are museums in your respective regions doing digitally to meet these new demands cristiana start.

Unknown Speaker 18:42
Good, thanks Fei So, actually, I think one of the big differences, regionally is the levels of art appreciation in Singapore or Southeast Asia, they're still pretty low, compared to a lot of the, you know established regions around the world. So we're still catching up, right, and the government's made a big push in the last 10 years. With the opening of many new museums and cultural institutions in Singapore that were never there before. So in terms of appetite, you know when, Singapore, celebrated its 50th birthday. There was a big push for arts and culture and that's when we opened the National Gallery. But the whole landscape, basically came alive. We've seen a lot more participation in consumption from our audiences still lots to go because, of course, the government sponsored a lot of these experiences, the question is, would audiences start to pay to consume act on their own, right. So that's the backdrop and the landscape with the pandemic, it's been really interesting because with the borders being closed. A lot of our residents who used to travel abroad, they willingly go visit museums abroad but they might not visit museums locally, and they've now started to do so, and rediscover Singapore is one of the government's tourism boards initiative so we're seeing a lot more locals, we did a membership drive at the end of last year, so we're bringing in a lot of new audiences, and they actually open to it, is just reframing what they thought about museums previously you know as the Center for education and knowledge and learning versus leisure option, but they're now seeing it more as a leisure option something to do off the beaten track, Instead of spending time on Netflix or shopping or in the cinemas, why not take a trip to the museum, and digital has been quite a important part of that particularly with the pandemic. Just simple things like QR codes, Suddenly opening up the ability to content consumed content in a much more accessible way

Museum Computer Network 21:02
without touching also here without touching QR codes, I can because, because now you know a lot of venues for example like actually Paige and myself were at the DIA beacon. Recently, and the maps were just all on QR codes because they don't like venues don't hand physical maps anymore because nobody wants to touch anything so it's really interesting. Yeah. Sorry,

Unknown Speaker 21:29
sorry, sorry, you just want one. Yeah, it helps us outreach, sort of one of the things we've just done is we've never been able to bring physical artwork out of our building right because of climate security etc, with QR codes. We've now taken artwork into eight different neighborhoods which are outside of our building 27 residential blocks, and we've created a virtual gallery. Yeah, just with QR codes you scan the QR code with your camera with AR technology you see the artwork on your phone and you can move around as though you're in a virtual Gallery, And we've got lots of white pillars in a lot of our public housing, and it becomes your perfect white cube, outside of the museum perfect

Museum Computer Network 22:18
really nice, we need, that's very neat. Very neat Thank you Chris Lee any reaction to today's.

Unknown Speaker 22:26
Yeah I mean I think audiences in the mainland are probably slightly different they're, you know, I think there's a huge thirst for culture here we're seeing like an explosion in, you know, exhibitions, and art collaborations, and, you know, even like commercial entities being interested in working with cultural institutions or artists. So that's something that I think has really accelerated in the last 18 months, I mean, you know, museums in China weren't closed for that long. I think by you know April May 2020 Obviously from February or March. Many of them were closed, but by April or May was institutions were open and I think that you know similarly to Singapore people who might otherwise travel or here in China so there is that real thirst to explore. You know what's, what's located here, but I also think more than that, already, you know, Chinese audiences were especially young Chinese audiences were so digitally native like, you know, even for museum 2015 We're about to have our fourth conference that our first conference in 2018, and we actually from the beginning livestreams, the conference because that technology was already regularly used here it was popular. We wanted to have, you know, accessibility we assumed it was mostly our professionals that would be interested and didn't really assume there would be broader interest for, you know the kind of work that we do. But you know our first conference we had, you know, six or 7000 people on live stream over the course of the conference day. Our second conference we had about 27,000. And this last conference in December of 2020 We actually had over 72,000 people on live stream. And so I think that, you know, that kind of scale the ease that people have just popping on to a live stream, watching one talk getting off like it's a very different. I know there's a lot of doom fatigue. Around the world, but I think you know in China, we're very privileged to have been able to do in person events for, you know, at least over a year now, a year and a half. So I think, you know, there is still that relationship there is live streaming is just so different here the way people interact, you know, within WeChat or within different app, it's just, it's a totally different ecosystem. And I think, unlike the West, audiences are super young so you go into museums and you see people in their 20s and 30s That's the main audience that you're seeing, as opposed to you know, I know. Audiences can run slightly older so I think the issue here is more, you know, beyond, big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, how are you developing those audiences, how are you making older generations feel like these spaces are also their spaces to be in and, and to exist in, because you need people to feel comfortable being inside museums right when I first moved to Shanghai, I worked at the Shanghai Himalayas museum on a big international project but while I was there, we had an exhibition Dunhuang like replica came and Dunhuang is in western China as part of the old Silk Road, it's very famous for these like, incredible murals, and these grottoes. And so these are replicas, these are not the real thing. There were a couple works and contemporary works that were part of the show, but you know they had 300,000 visitors in three or four months, and it was really just an older generation, that it was a totally different type of show and it was really amazing to see the interest from their side, but that's kind of an outlier in terms of the types of audiences we see here.

Museum Computer Network 26:01
Sure. Thank you, the, the scale is so different, I mean, obviously, in preparation but it's amazing to think that you had 72,000 people attending your virtual event it's pretty, pretty crazy. Takashi any reaction to this from, from your perspective, around, around developing local audiences or,

Unknown Speaker 26:28
like, I can say it's a unique pointer within the team labs, it's much more like an learn how to bring the people to be inside with it's an exhibition with

Museum Computer Network 26:37
like begin to bring in physical body parts. It's

Unknown Speaker 26:41
no joke, it's like it's very much it's an our fundamental part, because it's, you know, like, I can say it's like it didn't change our lives and our like not activities or intellectual passions, it would be for pandemics and it's enough to pandemics in. It's a, don't misunderstand but it's you know, like, where you're taking care of the interaction upon damage standards and of corporate situations, that's a reason why it's like an organizer, politics, point of view, it's an A, we try to channel, like a change like the number of the setting up the days to ticket them to stop, but it's like a, it's more like a creativity part, it doesn't change in general like from 2001, what we have interest in, we have interest is the relationship between humor, and word, and it's in

Museum Computer Network 27:34
the relationship, right, right,

Unknown Speaker 27:36
on its resume is like organize a word, it's much more akin to physicals, it's not on the eyes, not on the general, like in the years, and it's uh, I'm not against. We're not against itself we are on a ours, and it's we are making it into some, like, completely it's like online base artworks to on copy times almost one years and a half work. But still, it's what we've held on this one years and a half, and especially right now in our iterations, and with a lot of the bear, and I cannot share my hairs on what's happened, it's an I'm really eager to miss meeting up with my Pharaohs or eternal friends in person. In person face to face. And, of course, like, we're using all the digital one technology, and that's this is a little bit funny story but it's you know, like when we open the Open Data Team Rob boulders in Tokyo's what we made into like most of us now our work is like an immmersive in the physical world. So like one hour work, or a couple of work, it's an a few touch updates and the walls, the flower going to showing up white and you can accelerate all within a day or life, and there's an after COVID. There was a minor change what's happened is in, like, like no one centimeters or something's, even if you didn't touch the eternal like war, the same effect that's going to happen, it's no we tend to the eternal any

Museum Computer Network 29:15
kinetic kinetic art is it shaped what I'm trying to understand what

Unknown Speaker 29:22
it's very hard to, like, explain and understand that you know like, you know, our output, but it's like not, for example, like a team of boulders or the team or up planets. It's like in a space. There is, of course ProRes, There is a walls everywhere it's a canvas

Museum Computer Network 29:43
here. Yeah, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 29:44
yeah, this is like it's much more like a digital forest. It's no, even in a conscious or unconscious, if you go to the forest, or it's a gardens, it's some shade. Is it gonna It's sometime it's attached on your trousers, and if you walk like it, you know, like, I don't know 300 meters or 2000 kilometers that seat were falling down to the way that somewhere else and it's making a new like life, even in college and

Museum Computer Network 30:11
digital in digital, and

Unknown Speaker 30:13
we are trying to create a little forest by data technologies. So what's happened in general I get a hold of motives and it's you know, like, the output like flowers Walker's direct interactions with pizza bodies, it's not like games like the buttons. So, like an appoint is not going to touch screens, if you want to you can patch updates or something, right, it's what we change the Aten on Super minor change, but, like, after COVID If we try to create a beta now, even the walls, even if we didn't catch it in the same effect when it happens on it. It is like something gets in the way try to, you know, deal for that and the COVID situations. But the point is, like everybody touched the screens, and it's war anyway. And it's a nobody, it's a legalized of digital our technologies. But anyway, it's like the point it's like on Dugway it's we've tried to create a religion, much more like, how to, like, bring the people to be inside with the digital technology and it's we made it to like, like interconnected realities, so that is something that can be made. It's like between our vision, our economic digital and data your smartphones.

Museum Computer Network 31:40
But that's basically, thank you for that, Takashi I'm, what is the, what are some future opportunities for digital storytelling, I can get adjusted to Chris you want to go about this. Yeah, that's interesting as well.

Unknown Speaker 31:56
I think we kind of touched on it already, we're actually moving beyond digital, as mentioned right and we're looking at something that we're calling phygital. How do you merge the physical and the digital. And really this speaks to storytelling because you could do that in the physical space also purely on the digital space, and you're, you're extending your experience physically, to be able to lay on storytelling a lot more, right, and the problem with physical museums, is the industry wide issue is the focus is always on the artwork and the storytelling is you know confined to a one inch by one, kind of, you know, six inch by six six inch artwork label, which just has the artist name, the name of the work and and and the year, there's not a lot of storytelling, right, but with digital you can now layer on top of that, I know that happens a lot in the museums in China as well with QR codes where you can scan, and you get video popping up from either the artists or the curator talking about the work, or you can read it, or you can. We have audio guides that are accessible on your phone. You don't have to rent an equipment. You just download an app and all our audio guides are available online so how do you complement the physical experience with digital storytelling and continue that, after they leave the museum so can you even do that before they come in and after they leave so you do a connection, throughout that journey pre visit during visit post visit. And for us that seems to be an important aspect of improving our appreciation the issue that we talked about earlier, if we can drive that perpetual habit with our audience to connect with art, not just once a year or twice a year when they come to our museum, but on a weekly, daily basis, outside of the museum that that's pretty powerful. And there are questions about AR VR. Our philosophy is, don't adopt it just for the sake of the technology, make sure there's a actual important use case of why that adds to the experience, right, otherwise it just becomes gimmick, and it doesn't, it doesn't last. It's a fad. Right,

Museum Computer Network 34:22
exactly, exactly. Never did never do technology for the sake of technology. Yeah, absolutely. Fair Do you want to take us maybe to the question around. Converting digital engagement into revenue, I think that's a really interesting one because it's, it's that that's something that's universal I think it's not just regional but it applies to all regions of the world, right.

Unknown Speaker 34:46
Yeah, absolutely, I think, you know that's like a major issue that a lot of institutions are asking themselves right now, you know, is how do digital engagement into revenue you know how does that translation, you know, process look. Yeah, I'd love to hear from all our panelists, what your thoughts are the question.

Museum Computer Network 35:05
Okay, if you want to go, you want to go first, like what is that, I mean, do museums in China translate digital into revenue.

Unknown Speaker 35:16
I think that it depends on how you think about that, I mean I think that, you know, going back to this idea of like the merging of the physical and the digital I don't think that anyone or any institution that I'm fully aware of has done like a full ticketing for a digital exhibition or something that you know is entirely, you know online and not doesn't have some sort of in person element I think began to Chris's earlier comment about like this kind of needs to be like a natural use of the technology and a natural extension of an artist practice I mean even, you know, perhaps VR would be the best example of you know VR, the art related that exists on platform so that you can experience it elsewhere and I don't know that. I mean, again, that's not monetized by the museum's themselves but even thinking about, specifically Tigerwood Chang Palace museum exhibition, and he works with it, you know, he sees like vive art program and he did this whole VR experience and this is an artist that's not worked in VR before and he was able to do that but I think in terms of revenue, I know that some museums elsewhere have ticketed for virtual exhibition tours. And I think that that's definitely something you see or you use, again, to speak to the digital complementing the physical like you know a virtual tour sells tickets, or a virtual live stream event, sells merchandise or helps drive sales for souvenirs, things like that I think that that's more common I don't think that we're at a point yet in China where people are willing to pay just for the digital I think there's such a, just like overwhelming amount of content online that it would be a huge leap for them to pay for that content if if they're just sitting at home. That being said, for them to pay for that content anywhere else I think would be completely within the realm of possibility even in terms of paying for AR experiences paying for VR experiences I think that that when you're in a special place, or even like a mall or a museum or whatever I can see that being an extension, but I think in terms of like, you know, access to a digital exhibition or, you know, video or any sort of like lecture content online, I don't think that anyone's attempted to monetize that yet. I think it's more of that that's, you know, supporting and helping educate and build your audience,

Museum Computer Network 37:45
I suppose, Lee, and I'm making assumptions because I really don't know the lay of the land, but the, the funding environment in Chinese museums may be very different. Do they need really revenue or are they open to the public for free. You know what I'm saying.

Unknown Speaker 38:05
It just depends on what type of institution you're talking about a lot of these new institutions or private institutions. And obviously, like, you know nationally funded or government funded institutions exist in a very different ecosystem, if they do have any ticketing, you know, they have very different goals, I would say, but, you know, even private institutions that are funded by state owned enterprises. I think one kind of misconception that you know when opening museums in China, oftentimes people think that, you know museums will pay for themselves. And I like to joke that museums are money pit, and, you know, when you think about Mohm or you know like there's like a gazillion different revenue sources, and there's donations, and, you know, there is this kind of diversification that's integral to being a sustainable institution I think in China there is more the idea that ticket sales, should make up the bulk of the revenue that like somehow museums should pay for themselves, just through ticket sales or maybe that Club's merchandise. So you're starting to see patron programs you're starting to see other like forms of support. And of course there's like, you know, corporations that have opened museums that continue to fund them. But, you know, I think that it's a very different idea. Also in relationship to like the greater good and they're not public in the same way other than the nationally funded ones that you might consider nonprofits elsewhere.

Museum Computer Network 39:28
Chris, do you have thoughts about monetizing digital from your perspective.

Unknown Speaker 39:34
Yeah I think it's very similar to what Lee was relating, I mean today that the challenge of going digital, is the competition is huge, right, and gaining those eyeballs digitally I mean the prospect of the reach is great but through engagement digitally is tough. And with the pandemic everybody's gone online all museums have some sort of content online right and that's what you're competing with, and we, I must say have to look to the west, with the big museums, if their content and programs are free, but it's hard for us to charge for that. Right. Why would somebody pay for an experience at the Singapore museum when they could go into the loop, free, right so that that will need to evolve, I think the other dimension is, if you're just taking your physical experience and content and putting it online. Nobody's going to pay for that. We're seeing the need to create unique offerings, online, and then there's a prospect to potentially charge for it, right, I have one story An example, not our museum but as much smaller Museum, privately owned Museum, and he's charging for admission tickets online, because he personalizes the tour, down to you know walking outside and talking to visitors on the street so visitors internationally get to interact with people on the street because he's creating a unique experience each and every time. It also I think

Museum Computer Network 41:09
that that's a person that doesn't work for museum it's that good individual that just monetizing, like in a kind of like, like, a tour on a phone or something.

Unknown Speaker 41:21
No, he's a, he's a private museum he's basically, he lives in his own house and it's a museum, but he's charged for tours that large museums like us have not been able to, because of the unique personalized tour that he offers

Museum Computer Network 41:40
really interesting, I'd be I'd be really interesting to hear from that we have, like, six minutes left and I, and while we have our panelists together here I'm just curious if anyone has any page I saw your questions about, and I'm scared whenever I see NFT I'm just I feel I still don't know what it's like, sir what it what it's about so I'm really afraid to go into that conversation because I will look completely stupid, but are there questions from, from our attendees that you'd like to ask any of our panelists, as, as we come to close, and just being on unmute and ask your question directly. I've got you asked questions that people just drop off

Unknown Speaker 42:26
page. Sure, thank you. Um, I will pass on the NFT just. We know that they are ways to monetize digital art in collections through NF T's and that there's a lot of controversy and push away from that in China right now. So it's its own total different conversation. And I think of ways to, if it wasn't the pandemic I feel like there there are different ways to monetize museum interaction and engagement, I, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend a few months in Shenzhen in Beijing. And while there I, I loved seeing people frequently use those karaoke booths and I think that that's a direct way into museum engagement, and they can be VR drawing booths, they can be little pop up museum interactive some people will pay to participate if they saw what they drew in VR up across a skyline, or coming down a building are projected on their beautiful museum I think that they would pay for that. Anyway, so my question is Asia is is really seeing impacts of climate, climate change, it's there and any ways that you're observing in your museums or others, how museums are using technology, creatively or not to engage or activate communities throughout China centering on climate.

Unknown Speaker 44:25

Museum Computer Network 44:26
that's, that's a big question right there, that's a whole other session but anyone we have like four minutes if anyone would like to take a, take that on Corkery Oh quickly

Unknown Speaker 44:39
picked up. I mean I think that like, you know, engagement, and organizing are kind of very separate questions but I think you know if anyone saw the new lists and for the next documenter that are in group I just put out one of the organizations, or a collective that they're working with, based in China actually has done a bunch of stuff around sustainability based out of Guang Joe. I think it's called boy local, whoa, whoa, is a is a collective, you can look into that, but I know I mean there's a lot of, You know, engagement and a lot of interest in you know environmental action you know Chinese with Chinese government I think in a lot of ways is really leading in terms of policy, and you know you're seeing that on the ground as well. There's an initiative, out of Beijing, around the Olympics and climate, especially since the Winter Olympics is coming up. So I think you definitely see that and you see an interesting climate but I also would say that you know there, in, in 1949, there was 25 museums in all of China, and now there are 1000s of museums and all of China. So I think there also is something to be said for a lot of these institutions are quite young and a lot of them have been opened in the last 20 years they have different priorities, you know, everyone's just trying to figure out how to survive, and so of course there are certain topics that like are super interesting I think there is kind of a directional push in that way, but I would also say that there's a lot of logistics also involved in just the sustainability question and how to get basic engagement, and so I think, you know a lot of that content specialization will just come with time.

Museum Computer Network 46:27
That could be like a whole other session just to talk about the climate action or in in the arts and culture. Well, I think this, we didn't have the time of course to ask all the questions we wanted from our panelists and I know 45 minutes is a very short time but for our first time trying to do an outreach to another region of the world and exposing nCn our community which has been mostly North American and European, and for you guys to tap into our community as well. I just want to thank you to Kashi Lee and Chris and also say for facilitating this panel, and hopefully you're all stay connected to our MC and community, and we'll do a little recap at 1015 If not you can always ask your questions on our Slack channels. Thanks everyone.

Unknown Speaker 47:20
Thank you.

Museum Computer Network 47:20
thanks really appreciate your time. Thank you. care.