The Museum that Leaps over The Physical Wall: Museum Practices in Japan Under the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Museum, COVID-19, Crowdfunding, Digital Museum, Museum Engagement, Japan, Virtual Exhibition
Under the pandemic COVID-19, museums around the world are facing unprecedented challenges. This paper focuses on the museums in Japan and traces their practices between around February 2020 and March 2021. It presents a timeline of changes in the museum scene with along the spread of the Virus in the country and the policies, particularly the declarations of “State of Emergency.” To open to the public, an inherent purpose of a museum, becomes questionable when physical gatherings are undesirable with higher risk of virus spread and it is more expensive to remain open with much less visitors. This paper offers three cases studies of practices of crowdfunding campaigns, livestreaming of exhibitions, and a virtual reality exhibition. It argues that the conflicting agendas are leading the museums to dilemmas, however, creativity and digital technology comes to the rescue to a certain extent.
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