Culture Culture

27/08/2017 - 13:08

Hue Museums change to attract more visitors

Recently, museums and art centers in Hue, which are collectively known as museum, have changed a lot in their way of organizing activities and display solutions to “break the passive situations” of waiting for guests, and they initially got positive signs. Yet more solutions need acquiring to make related units operate more effectively.

Students experience the making of folk paintings in an activity organized by the Le Ba Dang and Diem Phung Thi Art Center

Changing in the right direction

Attending a couple of recent exhibitions in Hue, such as “Colors of the Autumn 2017” (Diem Phung Thi and Le Ba Dang Art Center), “The story behind remembrances” (Ho Chi Minh Museum), Fine Art Photography exhibition “Ao Dai – the beauty of Hue” (Hue Cultural Museum) and so on, we were impressed with the interest of audience. A few opinions claim that Hue museums really know how to “break the tough situations” of their dire straits.

Mr. Cao Ngoc Dung, from Hanoi, shared “When seeing the exhibition The story behind remembrances, I was surprised that the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Thua Thien Hue opened such an exhibition to display remembrances of Uncle Ho. Many museums have exhibited materials and objects about Uncle Ho, but exhibiting the original ones is totally new and likely to touch the audience’s emotions.”

The exhibition "Hue Press – the Stages" organized by the Hue Culture Museum achieves high appreciation. 

Compared to two years ago, there have been more and more changes in the way of organizing activities and display solutions. Whereas in the past museums just adopted the method of display in familiar motifs, nowadays they have paid more attention to the form and display solutions. It is obvious that museums focus on surface treatment in exhibition, which means that there is interference of fine arts into the display content and layout, maintaining logic and aesthetic principles, and creating a convenient sightseeing itinerary. “We have thoroughly researched before changing display solutions. We have also taken into account the audience’s feedback in this process,” said Nguyen Hong Hoa Tranh, Director of Hue Cultural Museum.

Ms Franjoise, a French tourist, said: "I visited Hue three times in 2007, 2011, 2017, and all those times, I went to some museums in Hue. Compared to the previous two times, this is when I feel satisfied to visit the museum because they changed. Museums have paid more attention to the arrangement of materials and objects on display in a modern way, but still maintained the main functions and duties of each museum. This used to be my recommendation, and I believe that if the change in this direction is kept on, more guests will come.”

Lately, there have also been investment in other activities. Specifically, an exhibition and creative experience of Vietnamese folk paintings was organized on April 27 by the Le Ba Dang and Diem Phung Thi Art Center, in which students from schools in Hue came to experience how to make folk paintings. Nguyen Tuan Minh, a student from Le Loi Primary School, shared: “Here I was able to make Sinh village paintings by myself, understood more about Hue folk paintings.”

Statistics on the number of visitors show that the initial change is in right direction. According to Dinh Thi Hoai Trai, director of Le Ba Dang and Diem Phung Thi Art Center, the center attracted approximately 15,000 visitors in 2016.  Compared to the previous year, the number of visitors to the center goes up by about 15%. At the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Thua Thien Hue, after the nine-month closing period (2016) for display rearrangement, since early 2017, it has been attracting more visitors; in May 2017, it welcomed 107 delegations and over 17,000 guests. Other museums are also more proactive in welcoming guests.

A need for more solutions

Researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa asserted: "Vietnam's museums have long been bound by the concept of exhibition as a means of political and ideological education, while the audience prefers exploring cultural aspects. In the world, museums working effectively are those which besides the core content (fixed and unchangeable), they often build more open spaces (soft content) that constantly change every month to create novelty. This is what Hue museums should learn from."

Ms. Franjoise suggested that to be more effective, Hue museums should invest more in the sound and light system, possibly add lights to create appropriate color effects. On the outside, the museums should have their own design to create hallmarks or suitable promotional boards, so that visitors can keep track of, and have their curiosity stimulated.

Meanwhile the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Thua Thien Hue is opened for free, at other museums selling tickets, their revenue is relatively modest due to the limited number of visitors. The museums need to study some reasonable solutions, and first, they should invest in necessary facilities to serve the “breaking the passive situation strategy”.

In the long run, more solutions need to be worked out, in which boosting promotion is essential. In addition, the museums are still limited in attracting tourists, so the cultural industry and museums should actively sit together with the travel industry and tourist agencies to discuss exchange, and confidently include the museum as a destination on the travel tours to create benefits for both sides.

Since the Le Ba Dang Museum and Diem Phung Thi Art Center was merged and the Embroidery Art Museum of XQ was established, Le Loi Street has a chain of open cultural-art institutes in a harmonious connection, including Phan Boi Chau Statue Park, the Le Ba Dang and Diem Phung Thi Art Museum, the Hue Cultural Museum, the Embroidery Art Museum of XQ, the Lieu Quan Buddhist Cultural Center. Many people compare this place to a museum street, which is not only a cultural development but also an opportunity for tourism.

Story and photo: Huu Phuc