Я[á:r] issue 10 / 2023

Special Issue: Museums and Sustainability
The theme of this special issue is “Museums and Sustainability.” Last year, at ICOM (International Council of Museums) Prague, the definition of “museum” was revised for the first time in half a century, with a clear mention of “sustainability” as one of the roles of the museum. However, while there has been much research outside of Japan by cultural institutions on specific practices aimed at sustainability, this has not yet been discussed as an issue in Japan. Rather than attempting to predict the future of this as-yet uncertain field, this special issue focuses on examining domestic and international examples of sustainability at this current point in time. We examine various possibilities regarding how the idea of sustainability can be interpreted and practiced in museums, and hope to provide an opportunity to promote further research in this area, while incorporating perspectives from outside the museum, including those of external contributors.

The Forum features three research papers by the museum’s curators. The first is a report on museum damage and the rescue of cultural property by an author who has witnessed rescue operations in the aftermath of numerous disasters. The second is a discussion of Michael Rowe’s metalwork Lidded Container “Conditions for Ornament No.28,” which was acquired by the museum in 2003, with a new translation of the artist’s concept. The third is an essay by the photographer Chen Wei, whose work is in the museum collection, on the history of this collection. The third piece takes up the subject of the work of Chen Wei, a photographer whose work is in the museum’s collection, analyzing and discussing his practice and its shifts from the late 2000s to the present.