Former Director

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Chen Kuo-Ning

Human civilizations are embodied in objects. Humans use their intelligence and technology to create a wide range of objects that have their place in both daily life and the life of the spirit, as well as less tangible musical and movement-based performance—also thoughtful, emotional and rich in deeper meaning.

How we live together and strive towards a better future is a question that can be applied to every aspect of our lives: in our relationships with Nature, other living creatures, the environment, and human society. Likewise, how do we view ourselves and find happiness and peace of mind? Clues can often be found in places such as libraries, schools, temples, churches and so on. Museums in particular, with their artefacts and audiovisual recordings, are a valuable source of information about this kind of knowledge and civilized values.

The museum is a vehicle for culture, preserving tangible and intangible cultural and natural assets, interpreting cultural evolution, and undertaking cultural communication and education. Now more than ever, the museum must meet social needs and keep its finger on the pulse, using cultural assets to create new social momentum and socio-economic enterprises, and promoting international cultural exchange and collaboration. In the last century, the role of the museum has undergone tremendous change: from conserving cultural artefacts and spreading cultural education to supporting the creative industries and advocating for social harmony. The museum is a hub for cultural organizations, and museum staff have to develop professional aptitudes that cover a range of areas because we need a team of people possessing different specialities and who have a passion both for museum work and for bringing about social harmony.

For more than fourteen years, the Museum of World Religions has been working hard and receiving kind donations and support, and this has given us an excellent foundation. How will the museum continue to deal with social transformation and the new challenges that come with our changing role in society? In addition to conserving cultural assets and promoting cultural education, we shall be expanding our capabilities by joining together with Master Hsin Tao’s Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society to form a new enterprise and by making our cultural assets publicly accessible. In this way, we shall bring culture, education and religion together as one in order to promote harmony and cooperation and lead our society step by step towards respect, peace, universal love and care for our planet. In fact, it will not be such a long journey, as long as we fully committed. And we want to inspire everyone to take part.

I hope that in the future, in addition to static displays, the museum will put on more performances and make more audiovisual programmes. By inviting the collaboration of performance artists and installation artists and encouraging public participation, we can transform the whole museum into a theatre. Because audience and artist are not opposites but two halves of a whole.

The museum’s important collection of several thousand items must not be simply locked up in a dark storeroom, never to see the light of day. Rather, they must be brought out into the open so that people can see them for what they are and then share their thoughts and views. We must also build links between our information systems and those of international organizations of religion and culture so that we do not merely keep our cultural preservation skills to ourselves.

I hope the museum will appeal to young and old alike. To this end, and in order to make exhibitions more effective and to ensure that special exhibitions receive the attention they deserve, when we plan special exhibitions we should give consideration to the makeup of our audience and what they need.

Our life education programme will be expanded to reach schools across the nation, including remote areas. In addition to public sector support from the Ministries of Culture and Education and the New Taipei City government, in recent years we have also received support from the Wang Yung-ching Educational Foundation and the Wang Yueh-lan Charitable Foundation, which has enabled us to mount many successful events. We hope to be able to organize more collaborations with organizations for cultural education in Taiwan and abroad.

In addition, we also plan to promote art design of craft products and utensils that can be used as gifts or to brighten up everyday life with a touch of beauty.

In short, the key to our museum’s success is public support and participation.



  • 1968–1970 Master of Art, Graduate Institute of Arts, Chinese Culture University
  • 1974–1975 Museum and Cultural Research, Cultural Learning Research Institute, East–West Center, University of Hawaii
  • 1987–1988 Fulbright scholarship to study Art Education at the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University



  • 1970–1999 Professor at Chinese Culture University; Curator of the Hwa Kang Museum
  • 1999–2006 Associate Professor and Director of the Institute of Aesthetics and Art Management, Nanhua University
  • 2006–2010 Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Museology, National Tainan University of the Arts
  • 2010–present Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Conservation of Cultural Relics and Museology, National Tainan University of the Arts


Other current positions

  • Deputy Director General, Chinese Association of Museums
  • Deputy Director General, International Council of Museums–Asia-Pacific (ICOM-ASPAC)
  • Chair, [Committee for Cross-straits Exchange in Museology]


Areas of expertise: Curation and Collection Management, Art Administration, Chinese Art History

Professor Chen Kuo-Ning receives frequent requests from various government departments to act as committee member, consultant or review member, and to carry out projects. She has organized countless international museum seminars and special forums in Taiwan and has published nearly a hundred papers and five monographs on museology. She has participated at numerous international museology conferences in the United States, Russia and China, and is very active in international museology circles, with publications in the UNESCO museology periodical.


2010 Excellent Senior Teacher, Devotion in Education Award




Chiang Shao-Ying

In his book Good to Great the noted American business consultant Jim Collins discusses how to face change, meet challenges, and make the most of chance. These ideas can also be utilized by the MWR as it continues to develop, while staying true to its core values. In addition to maintaining and displaying its collection, the MWR also hosts performances, conducts research and education, and provides information and even recreation opportunities. The MWR doesn't serve as a place of worship; what it does do is to take the ideal of love and peace and place it at the heart of its long-term development plan. The style of the Museum's leadership is to remain low-key and in the background while ensuring that operations remain streamlined and highly professional, as well as helping to find just the right mix of traditional and modern elements.

Our recently completed three-month assessment of the future cultural environment confirms the soundness of this management strategy. Further, we've also recently completed two years of research and preparation for holding four special exhibitions over the next year. All of this can be seen as an expression of our continuing commitment to promoting life education and the appropriate application of modern technology. Now that the MWR is in its second decade, we are putting increasing emphasis on thinking globally while acting locally; applying humanistic approaches to management; and using staff meetings to share ideas, air grievances, do some brainstorming, and distribute more authority to volunteer groups. Some of the main topics on the agenda have been reducing taxes; increasing government support; establishing a life education center; promoting respect between people of different religions, cultures, and ethnicities; local cultural awareness; joint exhibitions; and developing cultural resources.

Now that my time to step down is approaching, I want to encourage everybody at the MWR to continue striving to upgrade your professional skills, improve the collection and facilities, and establish a specialized fundraising system. Doing so will ensure that MWR will enjoy a bright future.


Mr. Shao-Ying Chiang has been a Dean, Graduate Institute of Traditional Arts, National Taipei University of the Arts, the chief of Traditional Art research center, the host of Taiwan Art Research and Taiwan Museum Studies Research Plans. He is also a famous scholar of museum planning, Traditional art research, Intangible Heritage, Cultural Policy assessment.

Mr. Chiang also has been involved in Arts Education law, Cultural Assets Preservation Law, the drafting and amending commissioner of Museum laws, the General Governor and Committee Member, ICH Section, Administration Headquarters of Cultural Heritage, CCA. He is known for planning many museums of Taiwan, around 40 museums, like Museum of World Religions, New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum and so on.




Han Pao-Teh

The mission and the management direction of the Museum is for the general public to gradually understand the founding concept of the Museum of World Religions, to accept the summon of love and peace allowing the secular world, under the guidance of supreme spirits, to be permeated with joy, serenity and bliss.

In this day and age, the aforementioned concept entails a conscientious sense of duty. Founded and rooted locally, the Museum of World Religions is responsible for such a task. Today we are in a state of spiritual turmoil with uncertainty hanging for the imminent future. To restore the state of equilibrium in society and resume the sense of serenity in the mind are the objectives that educationists are striving for. The Museum of World Religions may be limited in its capability, and finite in its contribution, yet we would like to act as the pioneer in such respect.

New-age museums share a common inclination: to serve our children. We hope that all the children in education can sense the significance of life through the exhibitions in the Museum of World Religions; any slightest brush against an awakening towards cherishing the life will leave with them a life-long profound impact.

The Museum of World Religions is not a religious organization, not a shrine, nor a temple, but an edifice in which to see the value of life as it is. We relentlessly call out to the world, hoping to wake up those wallowing in restless worry and sorrow to explore life, to respect life and ultimately to be a human being with dignity, compassion and humanity.


Born in Shandong Province in 1934, educated in National Cheng Kung University (BA in Architecture), Harvard University (MA in Architecture) and Princeton University (MFA in arts), Mr. Han was once Head of the Architecture Department in Tunghai University, Dean of College of Engineering in Chung Hsing University, Director-General for National Museum of Natural Science, Principal of Tainan National University of the Arts, Chairman of Board for Chinese Association of Museums, Chairman for National Culture and Arts Foundation and Director for Museum of World Religions. Currently, he is the honorary director for the Museum of World Religions, overseer for HanGuang Architectural Firm, senior advisor in the Office of the President, advisor to the Council for Cultural Affairs, and member of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Han was awarded the National Top 10 Outstanding Youth Award for Architecture (1968), Ministry of Education Class-One Cultural Award (1994), Architectural Institute of Taiwan's Architectural Award (2000), first architectural award of National Arts Award (2006), honorary doctorate of Tainan National University of the Arts (2007), honorary doctorate of National Taiwan University (2008), Golden Vessel Award for Best Magazine Column (2009), China Architecture Media Awards—outstanding achievement award (2010).

Mr. Han's written works include "Spiritual Dimension of Architecture", "Architecture, Society and Culture", "Constructing a Life—Memoirs of Han Pao-Teh", "Chinese Architecture and Culture", "Han Pao-Teh, a Stroll Amongst European architectures", "Han Pao-Teh, a Conversation on Beauty", "The Delightful Pleasure of Collecting", "How to Cultivate a Sense of Beauty", "Han Pao-Teh Traces the Walks of Humanity" and so on.