The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts brought together 350 participants from 12 countries and regions for the 2019 International Conference on Cultural Accessibility and Social Inclusion, which was held in Taiwan on Nov. 5 and 6. The conference served as a platform for in-depth, multinational, and multidisciplinary exchange through talks, lectures, academic paper presentations, and roundtable exchanges on practical strategies.
The museum also organized a special visit for 60 guests from Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to travel to Taichung after the conference to visit NTMoFA's "Home & House: Cultural Accessibility Exploration Area for All" — Taiwan's first demonstration of the concept of a fully accessible exhibition space.
Building on the fundamental idea of accessibility, the museum took 44 items from its collection and set up a variety of accessible services and facilities around them, including descriptive videos, tactile guides, sign-language guides, large-print texts, and display cases and paintings at wheelchair-accessible heights.
The exhibition is divided into six main areas by medium: oil painting, acrylic, ink wash, prints, watercolors, and mixed-media photography and video installations. Through assistive tools — both two and three-dimensional — these classic works by modern artists have been translated and deconstructed for the audience, providing a sensory experience that goes beyond simple sight.
Titled "Home & House," the model exhibition area also provides portable chairs for both children and adults individually and in groups, so those who want to immerse themselves in the exhibits for a bit longer can do so comfortably.
The guests who participated in the museum tour included front-line workers in accessibility from around the world. Combined with the two-day conference's workshops, seminars, and visits, they were given a deeper understanding of Taiwan's efforts in the realm of cultural accessibility. More information is available on the conference site and Facebook.
As the Ministry of Culture's model museum in Taichung, NTMoFA regularly promotes accessible events, integrating a friendly spirit of cultural accessibility and equal service into its exhibitions as it reaches out to all groups, including those with hearing or visual impairments, those with special educational needs, and the elderly.