The 2019 Frieze BBC Free Thinking Museums Debate – featuring the Musée d’Orsay, ACM and UCCA


Frieze and BBC Radio 3 Debate on Museums in the 21st Century, at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London.

Last month, during the Frieze Art Fair, I was invited by Frieze and the BBC to be part of a BBC Radio 3 Debate Panel on Museums in the 21st Century.

My other fellow panelists were Laurence Des Cars, Presidente of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing. The panel was led by the inimitable Anne McElvoy.

Through a roughly one hour session, we touched on a range of topics from how we are shifting in terms of curation and interpretation to adapt to new, and international audiences; how museums can be relevant to broader issues (and the challenges therein), and our perspectives on digital audiences and digital in the museum.

I spoke WAY too quickly and animatedly, and sounded like a cross between a beaver and vampire, but overall I think I did just about ok, rambling on about the Asian Civilisations Museum’s new focus on TRADE, FAITH and CROSS-CULTURAL art, our transition to the National Museum of Asian Antiquities & Decorative Art, about Identity, Chinese-ness, our the Tang Shipwreck and our Season of Chinese Art, about museums as spaces for dialogue and the Raffles exhibition, and about how we need to start thinking about curating for digital, and communicating messages visually (as opposed to textually).

The debate took place live, with a live studio audience at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), London on 4th October.  It was just broadcast on BBC 3 on 22nd October, as part of Radio 3’s Free Thinking series.

Here is the link to the broadcast: 


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And here we all are again, with Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Deputy Director of Frieze and Artistic Director of Frieze Masters.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
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