Sisi Li's picture
October 22, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Asian History / Studies, Canadian History / Studies


E.7.9 Asian Collections in Canadian Art Museums in Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

FRI OCT 22 / VEN 21 OCT / 9:00 – 10:30 PDT

Asian collections have been interpreted, represented and displayed in different types of Canadian museums. This project emerges at a critical moment, when museums are grappling with new models designed to make museums more accurate collection positioning features, more flexible development of research directions as well as accessible and inclusive of the diverse communities to which the collections are related. My project divides Asian collections into three categories for research in Canadian museums: art (visual art), culture (material objects), ethnographic (works other than visual art and material objects). Each Canadian museum has a relatively preferred Asian collection theme, and these themes can correspond to the above three types of Asian collections (art, culture, ethnographic), respectively. I classify and analyze Canadian museums according to the above three types of Asian collections and then select the most representative museums for case studies. According to the case studies of these three types of Asian collections, it is possible to analyze how Canadian Asian collections follow the evolution of ideas in Canadian art history and how the interpretation of Asian collections in Canadian museums has changed in order to be more inclusive and to demonstrate awareness of diverse communities, audiences, perceptions, and expectations. The ultimate goal is to understand the unique status of Asian art in Canada and the significance of Canadian museums in the world and provide theoretical help for the Canadian Museum to establish a more complete collection system.


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