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Museum 2050 

Inaugural Conference 2018

Inside and Outside the Institution: Musealization of art and exhibitions in China


The act of musealization is powerful and can be used to influence public opinion and redefine cultural heritage. In the context of exploring existing models and frameworks through which China’s cultural development has been considered, the Stars exhibitions in 1979 and 1980 can be looked at as one of the first key examples. By studying the precedent set by the Stars, we can consider critically for the first time the power of the museum institution at this pivotal moment in the late 20th century in China and the mechanisms set in motion that are arguably still very alive and relevant today.

For the Museum 2050 Inaugural Symposium, I lead a lecture to explore the specific impact the musealization of the Stars Group could have had on the socio-political situation for artists in the early 1980’s and then opened the floor to the larger discussion of the role of musealization today in museums in China.

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