@ Statement of Intent
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@Handing on cultural properties to future generations is the mission of all those engaged in cultural properties. However, the ways in which such properties are inherited or received depend on the nature of each property. If it is a tangible object, effort is made to maintain it in its current condition, without further deterioration, to the best of their ability. In unfortunate cases where the object is damaged or completely destroyed, attempts can be made to either recreate its earlier state through restoration and reconstruction, or simply conjure an image of its past days through remaining records. If the cultural property is intangible, such as a skill or technique, it can be handed on person-to-person or recorded on film or other media, and thus can be handed over to future generations as something that conveys the propertyfs appearance or contents.
These various activities concerning cultural properties are based on the human desire to hand on their assumed goriginalh form. Even in the case of maintaining the current condition of an object, such a decision is based on the judgment that the goriginalh constituent somehow remains in that current condition. And yet, to confirm the goriginalh form of a cultural property is by no means an easy process. Through the act of reconstruction, we often reach various complete images depending on various viewpoints we take, all based on some source information. Moreover, it is often the case that the cultural property itself changes shape in response to the needs of whatever period it finds itself in. Therefore, if we persist in considering only that single moment in the past when it was first created, we may overlook the significance of the historical layering that has occurred on and around the property in the course of time from that instant of creation to the present.
Thus cultural properties are living entities. They give rise to related materials as they move through the course of history. The goriginalh image can be caught only after we begin to accumulate such materials. However, the materials that have been preserved over the course of the generations are likely to be fragmentary, and we tend to be enslaved by the limited images that such fragmentary materials evoke. Hence, we should convert the fragmented records of cultural properties into memories, i.e. the layers of human activities conveyed by the property. The participants in this symposium are engaged on a daily basis in research, preservation and recording at research institutes, museums and other facilities that function as garchives for cultural properties.h We hope that this symposium will provide a forum for the consideration of the ways and means of being goriginalh-oriented in our efforts to vividly transmit cultural properties in the present and to the future.
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Session 1: Confronting Objects/gOriginalsh
What do we expect from and what do we hope to see in objects displayed in museums? In this session, we will reexamine our fundamental stance towards cultural properties as we seriously confront those objects deemed to be goriginalsh.
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Session 2: gOriginalsh beyond Objects
We often conjure certain images of gan originalh from either extant objects or related materials. Such images, however, do not always accord with one another. In this session, we will focus on our persistent effort to identify goriginals,h despite such realities.
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Session 3: Handing over gOriginalsh
Human interactions with a cultural property generate various materials that support certain images of its goriginal,h and moreover are often used in the preservation of the property itself. This session will explore how archives for cultural properties could handle a range of such attempts.