Each year, Museum 2050 works with a different hosting institution in China to realize a multi-day symposium which not only includes an academic conference and career development workshops, but also a day of outings to other cultural and creative spaces in the museum’s landscape. The academic conference is always free and open to the public (as well as being available via livestream) while interested participating institutions are welcome to reach out regarding inclusion in the professional training workshops


Cultural Alliances: The Imperatives and Challenges of Collaboration

He Art Museum, Shunde

For the third iteration of Museum 2050’s annual symposium, the platform looks to explore the concept of collaboration, both in its proliferation in recent partnerships amongst museums, particularly in China, and as a centerpiece of creative production. We wish to ask the fundamental question: why collaborate? What is the purpose of these cultural alliances? Whether they are between distinct institutions, artists, professionals, spaces or disciplines, what is gained when we collaborate? What is lost? How can we best foster collaboration? This year, Museum 2050 seeks to broaden the discussion beyond the realm of the Chinese context in order to investigate why museums make the decision to go beyond their walls to forge partnerships, both with other actors in the arts and those in other fields.



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Defining Institutions: Proposals for Museums of the Future

Zhi Art Museum, Chengdu

For Museum 2050’s 2nd annual symposium, the platform seeks to be a forum for suggestions about what institutions in China could be and how they could engage with artists. The rapidly expanding institutional landscape in China allows for the unique opportunity to redefine museums’ missions in a context often free of expectations about what an institution should be and how it relates to audiences. We ask artists, curators, arts professionals and the public: what do you want from a museum? What should a museum be and what could or should a museum’s relationship to locally-based artists be? What are historical examples of how museums have addressed their relationship to artists and how might these be applied in Greater China? Should we seek to replicate museum formats or replace them with new forms entirely?



Looking to new institutional models:
China’s cultural landscape by mid century

Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai

In this inaugural symposium, we seek to critically examine the diverse museum practices in both official and private domains of the Greater China Region. Speakers will investigate how institutional frameworks are fostered by the unique social and cultural dynamics at play. In doing so, we hope to bring forth discussions to challenge the existing models through which China’s cultural development has been considered. By looking at the intersection of these various threads, we seek to reveal the unique audience experience that is emerging in China, offering a particular focus on the complex cultural and temporal dimensions of museum-going and its relationship to sociality and contemplation.