Ana Labrador

Welcome Message from the 5th APTCCARN Meeting | Natural Disasters & Cultural Heritage in the Philippines: Knowledge Sharing, Decision Making & Conservation

From the 5th APTCCARN Organising Committee

Dr Ana Labrador, Founding Member APTCCARN and Assistant Director, National Museum

Dr Nicole Tse, Founding Member, APTCCARN and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne

Claire Grech, 5th APTCCARN Organising Committee and PhD Candidate, the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne

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Welcome to the 5th APTCCARN Meeting in Tagbilaran City, Province of Bohol, hosted by the National Museum, Philippines, in collaboration with the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, the University of Melbourne and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA).

Since the Asia Pacific Tropical Climate Conservation Art Research Network’s (APTCCARN) inauguration in 2009 at the Balai Seni Negara (National Art Gallery in Malaysia), we have held meetings at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Silpakorn University in Thailand, and Cheng Shiu University in Taiwan. APTCCARN was established in recognition of the need to support a geographically focussed practice of cultural materials conservation in the Asia Pacific and a maturing discipline. Over eight years APTCCARN has built a community of practice from which approaches are emerging and revealing important information about the culture and conditions in the region. It was during the 4th Meeting in Taiwan that the impetus for this meeting arose, where delegates felt the urge to take the knowledge that had been shared and take action in an area of significant need.

This meeting’s focus on the effect of natural disasters on cultural heritage, people, and places is more than pertinent. Here in the Province of Bohol, Philippines, the impact of the 2013 earthquake at 7.2 magnitude is clearly evident, which was soon followed by Typhoon Haiyan and its devastating effects across the Philippines. During the forum, we will hear the stories of the real events, journeys, and future aspirations, being central to the lives of Boholanos. Cultural materials conservation only has purpose as a mindful community of practice and one that is engaged with people, diverse communities, and the global society. So the intended focus of the 5th APTCCARN forum is on people‐to‐people linkages across a diverse range of skills, capabilities, and experiences of cultural heritage recovery and disaster management, in Bohol, Southeast Asia, and beyond. This is critical to the salvage, rehabilitation, and sustained management of Bohol’s cultural assets and heritage, and assets wider afield that will be presented here at the forum.

We know that Southeast Asian nations continue to be among the most vulnerable to climate change, including increases in frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Reported disasters have risen sharply in the recent decade according to the World Disasters Report 2005 of the International Red Cross 2005. The Asia-Pacific region itself is ‘highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and national hazards’ and the Asian Development Bank has ‘pointed out that ‘heat waves, droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones have been more intense and frequent, causing extensive damage to property, assets, and human life’ (Parr, La Viña & Henry 2016, p. 2). While in 2013, most forum participants would know that the Philippines was ranked on the Global Climate Risk Index as the most affected country by extreme weather events, and was ranked 5th overall on a twenty-year time scale (1994-2013). People, places and cultural assets are vulnerable, subject to unpredictable events and uncertainty, which strikes at the core aims of cultural materials conservation, and what we hope to sustain and manage.

So this forum, led by community knowledge holders and cultural heritage practitioners, aims to share recent experiences of natural disasters and cultural heritage recovery projects to communicate and generate ideas around cultural heritage management and its associated uncertainties. With a primary focus on movable cultural heritage, discussions and presentations will include active participation and learning for Asian Pacific participants working in the field of cultural heritage and education, as well as local and international heritage professionals, interested individuals, and Parish communities. It is through these study visits, sharing sessions, group activities and presentations, that meaningful exchanges will take place, and strengthen and expand the APTCCARN network.

The 5th APTCCARN Committee is delighted that the National Museum is hosting this event. Dr Ana Labrador and the local organising committee have worked tirelessly over the past year to arrange the event details to its perfection. Hosting an international event like this takes a lot of commitment and attention to detail, and we deeply thank them. We thank Dr Rujaya Abhakorn, Centre Director of SEAMEO SPAFA, and staff for his opening speech and engaging vision of cultural heritage in the region. Further thanks is extended to our Keynote Speaker, Father Milan Ted Torralba. We thank the Province of Bohol, the parishes of Maribojoc, Cortes, Antequera, and Baclayon for hosting us, and insightful welcome speeches from Governor Edgardo Chatto, and of course Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, known for his strong and faithful presence in Bohol. Lastly thank you to Diocese of Bohol and Bishop Alberto S. Uy for supporting the forum and making us feel welcome, and our major sponsor the Australian ASEAN Council. Thank you to all speakers, chairs and participants for attending the 5th APTCCARN Meeting on ‘Natural disasters and cultural heritage in the Philippines: Knowledge Sharing, Decision Making and Conservation’. We look forward to the sharing of knowledge and future exchanges.

Download the program here.

 

References

• Kreft, S, Eckstein, D, Junghans, L, Kerestan, C & Hagen, U 2015, Global Climate Risk Index 2015 Who suffers most from extreme weather events? Weather-related loss events in 2013 and 1994 to 2013, Briefing Paper, GermanWatch e.V., 32pp, <http://germanwatch.org/en/download/10333.pdf>

• International Red Cross 2005, World Disasters Report, International Red Cross.

• Parr, B, La Viña, AGM & Henry, D 2016, Philippines climate change agenda: High vulnerability! High ambition?, Briefing Paper 4, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, 16pp,< www.sustainable.unimelb.edu.au>.

Originally published online 19 April, 2017

Welcome Messages from the 4th APTCCARN Meeting | Embracing Cultural Materials Conservation in the Tropics

From the Host Institution

Kung Jui-chang, President, Cheng Shiu University, Taiwan

The Conservation Center, Cheng Shiu University in Taiwan is pleased to host the 2015 4th APTCCARN Meeting in Taiwan. With a focus on Asia Pacific’s diverse climate, history and future, the meeting aims to embrace cultural materials conservation in the region, our experiences and the future. Issues such as developing a regional practice of cultural materials conservation within the needs, resources, communities and geographic place will be addressed. This is in light of recent extreme weather events, the current reality of the environment and sustainable practices and crosses the themes of:

  • The effect of tropical climates on cultural materials

  • Their unique degradation mechanisms

  • The environment and current realities of collections care

  • Standards and principles of conservation practice in tropical climates

  • The impact of Asia Pacific culture and geography on artists’ material choices, techniques and artists’ intentions

Cheng Shiu University is the professional polytechnic school in southern Taiwan. In 2005, we set up the Conservation Center managed by the Office of Arts and Culture, being engaged in the promotion of arts education and cultural heritage protection work. The Conservation Center integrates all the studies of conservation and restoration about national cultural heritage into the references, developing the professional investigation, with the result that the related departments enable to solve all kind of problems in the field of conservation and restoration of works of art.

The lack of proper concepts of conservation causes serious damages on art relics so that we keep "education" and "research" as faith to hold several conferences and exhibitions in relation to conservation and restoration. Through related seminars and activities we'd like to let people, no matter how young or old they are, experience and understand proper methods of conservation of each artwork and then spread the correct ideas that implement "Lifelong learning", "Anytime learning" and "Learning by chance".

The Center is willing to disseminate the right information about conservation and restoration and put up a bridge of mutual trust between collectors and art relics, and even use our profession for feedback on history and culture.

We would like to thank the major sponsor Chen Cheng-po Foundation. They have made a significant contribution to the development of cultural materials conservation in Taiwan and now internationally, with the support of APTCCARN. And other sponsors.

This meeting has been supported by staff of Cheng Shiu University, Taiwan and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (University of Melbourne, Australia) under the auspices of APTCCARN (Asia Pacific Tropical Climate Conservation Art Network). We thank you for your commitment and support in ensuring this meeting is a success.

Cheng Shiu University welcomes participants to the 4th APTCCARN Meeting.

 

From the 4th APTCCARN Organising Committee

Dr Nicole Tse, Founding Member APTCCARN & The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, The University of Melbourne

Dr Ana Labrador, Founding Member APTCCARN & Assistant Director, National Museum of the Philippines

Diana Tay, Paintings Conservator, Singapore

Welcome to the 4th APTCCARN Meeting in Taiwan at the Conservation Center, Cheng Shiu University. APTCCARN was inaugurated in 2009 at the Balai Seni Visual Negara (National Visual Art Gallery in Malaysia) and has since held meetings at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and Silpakorn University in Thailand. It was established in recognition of the need to support a geographically focussed practice of cultural materials conservation in the Asia Pacific and a maturing discipline. Over six years APTCCARN has built a community of practice from which approaches are emerging and revealing important information about the culture and conditions in the region. Our APTCCARN meetings provide a space for reflexive thinking to share conservation experiences and test new concepts or ideologies within the geographic focus of the Asia Pacific.

As the title alludes to, ‘Embracing Cultural Materials Conservation in the Tropics’, the 4th Meeting intends to highlight how we are actively and productively interacting with cultural heritage and whether commonalities exist among us. In reviewing past conservation approaches in the Asia Pacific region, underpinning many of them are Western notions of heritage. Institutions, communities and conservation practices have struggled with a tension between an object centred approach and scientific methods versus ones that are more value based and substantiated according to differences in institutional practices, development histories and each disciplinary leader’s foci. The very existence of APTCCARN recognises the need to develop regional approaches, however recent case studies and discussions have shown that they vary in complexity, resources and capacity. How this translates to principles or a regional discipline of cultural materials conservation are worthy of discussion at the 4th APTCCARN Meeting.

In saying this, a significant aspect of cultural materials conservation relates to the physical requirements of collections and their material stability. Agreeably the success of materials conservation is centrally focussed on stakeholder and community contexts of decision making, however an understanding of deterioration processes and object materiality are important. The knowledge of such matters does exist, as vested in people, objects and documents, however it has not been fully captured for an improved understanding of material stability in the tropics. These are other points for discussion.

The 4th APTCCARN Committee is very pleased that Conservation Center of Cheng Shiu University in Taiwan is hosting this event. Dr Ioseba Soraluze and the local organising committee have worked tirelessly over the past year to arrange the event details to its perfection. Hosting an international event like this takes a lot of commitment, attention to detail and we deeply thank them. We thank Dr Rujaya Abhakorn, Director of SEAMEO SPAFA, for his opening speech and engaging vision of cultural heritage in the region. Further thanks is extended to invited scholar, Prof. Hsiao Chong-rui of National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan in uncovering the materiality of Chen Cheng Po’s artistic practice. Lastly we thank the sponsors and particularly the Chen Cheng-po Cultural Foundation as a major sponsor. We hope you also enjoy the important exhibition on the artist’s work.

Thank you to all speakers, chairs and participants for attending the 4th APTCCARN Meeting on ‘Embracing Cultural Materials Conservation in the Tropics’.

 

Originally published online 25 November, 2015