A Glimpse of the incoming Southern Branch of NPM through Facebook: Creating an imagined Asian Art and Culture Museum before opening the door

Chih-I Lai, National Palace Museum, Taiwan, Taiwan

How to present a museum before it open the door? This paper will take an anthropological perspective discussing about the research finding during planning and managing the NPM Southern Branch Facebook page as a way to communicate with our perspective visitors.
The Southern Branch of NPM was born as a political promise to the Southern Taiwan and it originally planned to open in 2008. However, this controversial governmental funded museum is still under construction until today. The delayed openings broke the promise and create tensions between the museum and the local residence, between museum and the local government, as well as the land developers and private investors. These current challenges and criticises grounded the backdrop of this paper and the museum is keen to open a new channel to communicate with Taiwanese people while the construction is still going on, so the NPM chose Facebook fan page as a communication platform. This Facebook page was created this March, and none of the exhibition catalogue had been published yet; it is difficult for the administrator to create contents as the museum original Facebook page administrator did. Moreover, the official website of the Southern Branch of NPM is still under construction and can’t really engage with the potential local visitors. Under these realities circumstances, Facebook became a cheap and practical solution to show the ‘behind the scene of the museum’ as well as reinforce the trust and the relationship between the local visitors and the incoming delayed museum.
This paper will share both our museum Facebook educational and promotional activities designs and discuses the outcome and visitor engagements.

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