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Makeovers for museums

By Lin Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-17 07:34

Makeovers for museums

An installation work by a Yinchuan resident, A Box from 1984: Eggs. [Photo provided to China Daily]

From programs inviting members of the public to re-create their memories to holding workshops, repositories of the country's heritage are finding new ways to boost visitor numbers. Lin Qi reports.

One memorable and pleasant childhood activity for Li Yiman, a cafe shop owner in her 30s, was helping her grandfather hatch eggs in a wooden incubator.

"But it was not until I grew older that I found the process magical, although it looked quite simple," says Li, a resident of Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

"How to select the eggs, how many to place in a box, how many electric bulbs to use, and how to control the temperature and humidity ... Every step, every option, was about the creation of a life."

Three months ago, Li heard that MOCA Yinchuan, the city's major modern art museum, had invited people to submit personal stories that reflect the city's history. So she mailed her story of the egg incubator.

The museum staff were impressed and sent her a wooden box to re-create her memories.

She installed four bulbs in the box and under them placed a dozen dolls of yellow, hairy chicks and egg shells. She then pasted four handwritten pages of her story on one side of the interior of the box.

"Seeing chickens breaking through their shells was amazing for me when I was a child," she says.

"Now, the scene arouses a lot of thoughts in me that life is like an egg, and that one needs to throw off the restrictions on it, like the shells.

"Breakthroughs enable one to improve and see a broader world."

Li says her work, A Box from 1984: Eggs, is a part of an ongoing public program offered by MOCA Yinchuan.

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