Culture is Evolution
We are pleased to announce the inauguration of the Arcidosso Museum of Asian Art and Culture to be held 11-12 December 2016 in the presence of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, Rosa Namkhai, and numerous guests and representatives of the various centers of the International Dzogchen Community, as well as international political figures and institutional representatives. The events, collectively entitled “Culture is Evolution” being planned for the inauguration include various presentations of our future projects, lectures by our curators, workshops for the local schools led by craftspeople from around the world, guided tours by our curators for the public and a conference for museum professionals presenting the documentation standards for museum collections, being promoted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), a UNESCO partner.
The Museum of Asian Art and Culture, which is located in the “Ex-Chancery”, an eighteenth century two story structure, is part of the Aldobrandesco Castle Complex. The building, which has been very kindly provided to us by the Town Hall of Arcidosso, is the result of over 35 years of collaboration between the Dzogchen Community of Merigar and the municipality of Arcidosso.
The Museum of Asian Art and Culture is a project envisaged by Prof. Namkhai Norbu, internationally renowned scholar, president of the Dzogchen Community, the Shang Shung Foundation, ASIA Onlus, and author of over 250 publications. With his family he has assembled a private collection of over five thousand artifacts including works of art, handmade objects and costumes, votive objects of great cultural and ethnographic value and important document collections concerning his research and studies on the Himalayan and central Asian culture.
The museum is divided into 10 thematic galleries:
Gallery 1 Environment: geology, geography, biology
Gallery 2 Prehistory and Nomadic culture
Gallery 3 Language and Literature
Gallery 4 Music and Dance
Gallery 5 Architecture
Gallery 6 History
Gallery 7 Medicine and Astrology
Gallery 8 Visual Arts
Gallery 9 Tibetan Buddhism
Gallery 10 Tibet Today: a Living Cultural Heritage – Gönpa exhibit
The museum’s logo shows the Tibetan terms for the five traditional Tibetan Sciences, starting at the top and moving clockwise:
The Arts: which are exhibited in Galleries 4, 5 and 8.
Medicine: which are exhibited in exhibited in Gallery 7
Language and Literature: which are exhibited in Galleries 2 and 3.
Logic: this aspect of the 5 Sciences is reflected in the museological approach to the project we have adopted and as a framework for our digital repository.
Inner Sciences: is being exhibited in Gallery 9.
The Museum has as its mission the development of the Namkhai Collection, the conservation and documentation related to the artifacts contained in the Namkhai Collection and finally, to the communication of the significance of the rich cultural heritage of the Himalayas and Asia, which the objects in the Collection embody. Our aim is to contribute to cross cultural understanding through the exchange of knowledge and research to promotion of intercultural understanding. An international team of consultants and curators, artists, composers, craftsmen and women, as well as, many, many volunteers have come together during the last year to help make this mission a reality.
The museological approach, we have adopted in the planning of the exhibition for the Museum, has tried to interpret the idea of interdependence as a principle for our installations. This approach, we hope, will offer the visitor multiple points of access, in a sort of non-linear narrative, where each artifact on display can become a key that reveals relationships with other artifact on display.
Museum Inauguration Program 10 – 11 December 2016
Arcidosso Castle, Conference room, ground floor
In the presence of the Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, Museum Project presentation reserved for guests and authorities followed by a guided tour
Afternoon: Official Opening to the public and guided tour
Short presentation of Merigar and other centers around the world.
Guided tour of Merigar
Program 12 – 18 December 2016
During the week of December 12 to December 18 there will be workshops, conferences that are free, open to the public, and designed to involve primarily schools of all kinds and levels.
We are planning a workshop of traditional Bhutanese masks given by Urgyen Dorje, a skilled Bhutanese craftsman, and a demonstration of traditional Bhutanese weaving.
In addition there will be two conferences entitled: Zorig Chusum: The 13 traditional arts of Bhutan held by Choki Dorje, director of the Choki School of Traditional Arts, Bhutan.