Compiled and reported by Wong Wei-Jhih
Based on the 12-year National Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines, schools are allowed to offer cross-disciplinary programs. After three years of efforts, the Kinmen History and Folklore Museum in the Culture Park has been accredited by the Ministry of Culture as a public museum, the first case among outlying islands in the nation.
Cultural Park Administration Office director Lu Gen-Jhen pointed out that in line with Kinmen County magistrate Chen Fu-Hai’s cultural governance, the museum based on the goal of sustainable islands has comprehensively carried out the policy, organization work, and resource consolidation starting 2015, committed to a "living Minnan culture island" as the vision project.
In 2016, following the promulgation of the Museum Act, by striving to be included in the guidance program by the Ministry of Culture, it was named as one of the museums with potential for development by the preliminary museum evaluation. In 2017, the museum underwent task organization with respect to its systematization, publicness, sustainability, extensive collections, and function role. And it was finally accredited by the culture ministry at the end of December last year, upgraded from the local cultural center to an approved public museum, the first case among outlying islands, which gave park staff a great sense of achievement and encouragement.
Lu Gen-Jhen said that in the past three years he often remembered expectations and encouragement from magistrate Chen visiting the park after he took office at the end of 2014: Culture must have great breadth and depth and keep pace with the times, which embodies the spirit of “sustainable islands.” Seeing the accomplishment of the culture park over the past three years, magistrate Chen motivated staff to work harder and seek change and innovation at the park’s year-end review session in that the park should be based on the development of the museum, pass on the universal value of human civilization, wisdom, and peace, and boost the social value and responsibility of museum service.
As the museum was accredited as a public museum, abundant cultural resources from the central government would be poured into it, Lu said, adding that it would also be granted a formal legal status to propose professional training programs and museum software and hardware upgrade subsidy schemes for museum development, cultural sustainability, and a foundation for "living museum island" in Kinmen.
Over the past three years, the Cultural Park Administration Office has been devoted to promoting Minnan culture by creating a “living museum island” and “eco-museum.” To pursue a “living Minnan cultural park,” the office drew up a policy blueprint for a four-in-one museums made up of the history and folklore museum, cultural and creative industry museum, arts and humanities education museum, and clan culture digital museum, hoping to achieve diversified and sustainable development of culture, education, tourism, innovation, and life; to implement the county policy of "Better Kinmen, Sustainable Islands," and to build an important cultural base for Kinmen.
Starting 2017, to obtain cultural resources and budget from the central government, introduce overall sustainable development, and fulfill appraisal requirements of the Museum Act, as well as strengthen the museum’s functions, professionalism, publicness, sustainability, diversity, and position, the Cultural Park Administration Office has actively organized internal tasks, which were classified into four divisions: planning and research, collection and exhibition, electromechanical equipment, and clerical work and administration, so as to implement task allocation, and to take full advantage of the organization and operation of the museum and the overall progressive development direction, and based on sustainability and professionalism and under the guidance of the competent department of the culture ministry, to set the overall development and operation objectives of the museum, in an attempt to promote the vision of "living Minnan culture island." It took three years until 2015 when deputy minister of culture Hsu Chiu-Huang, Department of Overall Planning director Hung Shih-Yu, and senior executive officer Chen Kuo-Ning gave recognition and guidance. In 2017, Ministry of Culture Resources Department director Chen Teng-Chin visited Kinmen in person, offering assistance and affirming its overall operation direction, from which it obtained the department’s funds in pushing the development. As Kinmen has rich cultural heritage and ecological resources, it is expected that under such a development mechanism and with the support of the central government, inheritance and innovation would be deepened and these resources could serve as the driving force behind Kinmen culture development. Over the years, Resources Department director Chen Teng-Chin had paid close attention to the progress several times in addition to recognition and encouragement from relevant officials. Especially in November last year, culture minister Cheng Li-Chiun inspecting Kinmen said that as Kinmen exemplified Minnan culture with rich cultural heritage, it was important to create an international cultural brand and island image, build a unique "Kinmen cultural path,” and construct a digital cultural economy in line with the times, in the hope of seeking vitality and sustainability using such a concept of a living Minnan culture island and obtaining the recognition and guidance for the project.
Receiving the accreditation was an honor and even a duty, said Cultural Park Administration Office director Lu Gen-Jhen, adding that special thanks were extended to the county government, the council, the cultural affairs bureau, and local arts and cultural organizations for their support and guidance to the cultural park, as well as cultural volunteers for their long-term dedication. The outcome of such joint efforts was the glory of the whole team and a milestone in the museum manifesting itself across time. It was expected that in the future, Kinmen was able to utilize its unique museum image as a brand and pursue the goal of keeping in step with museums across the strait and the world. Starting with active participation in international affairs and world expos, professional manpower should be increased to realize the vision of "Minnan Culture, Living Museum Islands," to prompt the museum to pass on human wisdom, to pursue world peace and universal values of serving people, while symbolizing that the Kinmen museum possessed strong development energy, which was a joint honor everyone was looking forward to.
Regarding the role taken by the museum after being upgraded, Lu said that since the 21st century museums still face many difficulties and environmental changes, museums should be more active in pondering over social problems and demonstrating their self-worth and responsibilities. Although small in area, Kinmen boasts special history and geography, a front-line area for cross-strait cultural exchanges. As a result, the Cultural Park Administration Office would join hands with the mainland in pooling museum resources by actively promoting cultural activation, regional cooperation, and social harmony, in a bid to pursue universal values of mankind, create an international image of Minnan culture, and foster a living Minnan culture island.
In addition, it is hoped that broader horizons and diverse values can be created through Kinmen’s unique cultural environment and historical context. Especially in the era of rapid social changes, based on the universal spirit of "people-oriented co-prosperity and harmony," the islands are endowed with vitality, cultural power, and sustainability. With the focus on Minnan culture, Kinmen can become an irreplaceable pearl among Chinese culture on both sides of the strait, a cultural heritage that cannot be wiped out, the best cultural brand in line with international practice, and even a universal asset humans aspire to, so that people can work together to contribute this "Minnan culture island" to the world's spiritual civilization to be shared and cherished by everyone.