In Vietnam or world, museums curators and operators have to implement a comprehensive procedure and methods to meet the demand and taste of the visitors in order to lure them to the museums. The exhibition and the public and education play an important role in connecting the museums and the audiences. In a view of the economy, if we regard the visitors as the "special" customers, we should have to create the "special" products to meet their demands. In particular, the museum's products should have their own language, unique, and special compared to other cultural products in order to attract, orient the habits and demand of the visitors.
According to the international and local museum experts, the museum exhibition types include the permanent exhibition, the temporary exhibition (special exhibition) and the traveling exhibition... Different kinds of museums include different exhibitions, such as: social history exhibition, natural history exhibition, arts exhibition, technology and science exhibition...
Temporary exhibition is a study and displaying collections in a well arrangement and to meet a subject or idea that has been studied based on the theories of the museology. It aims to introduce not only objects but also the history, circumstances, society and stories related to the objects. It can stir up the emotions for the visitors, providing knowledge and experience and educate people and it may change the behaviors and attitudes of the audiences through the messages implied.
As we may know museums can not display all of what they have only by the permanent exhibitions. So temporary exhibitions should be organized frequently to freshen up the museum's activities and meet the public's demand. Within temporary exhibitions, the object is the most important issue to determine the success or failure of the exhibition as well as social impacts of the museum.
The exhibition "Asia – cultural diversity" lured a numerous visitors, 10-2013
In the past 60 years, the VNMH Museum has carried out many researches and collected many objects. The museum has increased its collections from 40 thousands of objects at the establishment to 200 thousands of objects and documents by now; many of which are rare and precious. For example, collections of Hoa Binh – Bac Son culture, collections of Dong Son culture, collections of the Vietnamese ancient ceramic, collections of Champa Sculpture, collections of royal treasures of Nguyen dynasty, collections of arts of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia, collections of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam, collections of the August Revolution, Propaganda posters and paintings, collections of revolutionary magazines, collections of flags, orders and medals... Those collections have been displayed in many special exhibitions and made up special feature and brand name for the museum.
In the past few years, the museum's exhibitions have followed close to the national celebrations such as the Communist Party of Vietnam's foundation day, the August Revolution, the Dien Bien Phu victory, the National Front, the B52 Victory, Dong Son culture, the Royal Treasures, the Vietnamese Jade Antiquities, the Vietnamese people's betel and areca nuts custom...
The objects in the showcase "The custom of chewing betel and areca nuts of Vietnamese people" 10-2012
Regarding to the temporary exhibitions dedicating to the contemporary and modern history periods, the VNMH Museum has increasingly renovated its exhibitions by getting out of the old and classical ways of exhibition and reaching to a multiple reflection about social and economic forms within a common development of the national history.
The exhibitions have attached importance to the fine arts, applying modern technology to make the content and exhibition's purposes fascinating and natural. Like this, the temporary exhibitions to introduce the pre-mediaeval history have been paid attention. We have installed the boxes for keeping the objects, lighting system and supplementary equipment to meet requirement of the exhibition's standard nationally and internationally. The VNMH Museum has increasingly attracted a numerous visitors to its temporary exhibitions. In particular, some exhibitions have lured thousands of people in the opening day such as the exhibition of Royal Treasures in 2010 on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long - Hanoi...
Many treasures have been showcased in the exhibition "The Royal Treasures" in 10-2010
Besides, there have been some dull exhibitions. The reasons could be poor objects and types or we have re-exploited the objects that have been displayed in the permanent exhibitions. The investment and study to build up the content of an exhibition still have many disadvantages. The market survey, customer assessment have not been invested so making the exhibitions monotonous and repeating and uninteresting.
Thus, in order to attract more visitors, we should pay attention to some issues as followings:
- Choosing the theme and name of the exhibition, then do the survey, catalogue, or even collecting new objects. The VNMH Museum's exhibitions includes the social historical type but relating to many other scientific sectors. Thus, along with using the originated objects, we should combine, restore or reproduce the historical circumstances and social models; with this, we should consult the experts such as anthropologists, ethnologists, geologists, folk culture experts.
- Besides, the fine arts and technology applications in designs and interior are very important. It should be done in a logical ways, luxury and attraction to drive the audiences into the history stories.
The exhibition "Vietnamese Buddhist Cultural Heritage" applied 3D virtual interactive technology is available at the website of the VNMH Museum
Along with introducing the Vietnamese history, the museum should focus on the hot issues of the contemporary society. It is a fact that the public's demand on the museums is not only to review the past but also to discover the value of the life, the lessons for the present and the future. Moreover, the exhibitions should be assisted with modern technology such as interactive equipments to facilitate visitors to discover and create themselves.
A good exhibition and renovating the temporary exhibitions will be a kind solution to attract more visitors to the Vietnam National Museum of History.
Dr. Vu Manh Ha (Deputy Director of the VNMH Museum)
EN: Tran Trang