The National Palace Museum and Asia Today

Talk by Dr. Kungshin Chou, Former Director, National Palace Museum, Taiwan

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The Center for Chinese Studies thanks the Kuo family for their generous support.

Our lives are shaped by the choices we make, and for me no decision was more important than choosing to devote my life to the National Palace Museum in Taipei, a sanctuary for knowledge and a place for learning. My first term of service at the National Palace Museum lasted 27 years, from 1972 to 1999, at which time I returned to my alma mater, Fu Jen Catholic University, to found the Graduate Institute of Museum Studies in order to cultivate young museum professionals. In May 2008, President Ma Ying Jeou asked me back to the National Palace Museum to be its director. I served in that capacity for four years, retiring in July 2012.

My 31 years at the National Palace Museum provided me with an extended and unique view of an exceptional institution. In this lecture, I recount some of my experiences and revisit the work and accomplishments achieved during my long tenure, including overseeing the planning and building of the southern branch of the NPM in Jiayi; and ultimately leading to the National Palace Museum’s recognition as one of the top museums in the world and number one in Asia.

Kungshin Chou (Zhou Gongxin 周功鑫) received her doctorate degree in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), France in 1995. She is a specialist in Chinese lacquer wares and a pioneer educator in museology in Taiwan. During her tenure as Director of the National Palace Museum from 2008-2012, she curated and oversaw a number of large-scale international exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her stewardship the Museum was acknowledged for being one of the top major museums in the world not only for its unparalleled collection of Chinese art but also for the model it established for museum collaboration, education, exhibition, publication, and research. Reminiscing on her lifelong service and experience at the NPM, Dr. Chou is currently working on a book manuscript titled Wo yu Gugong yuan 我與故宮緣, The National Palace Museum and Me.

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Published: Friday, October 21, 2016