Writer : Yoon Sung-Yong
Year : 2020
First published in 2006 in commemoration of the 2004 International Council of Museums (ICOM) Seoul General Assembly, the International Journal of Intangible Heritage this year celebrates its 15th anniversary as a platform shared by more than 30 experts spanning the globe to present their various research achievements related to Intangible Cultural Heritage, its policies and practices. In August 2010, its international authority was recognised when it became the first national institute publication to be listed on the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) hosted by the Thomas Reuter Corporation in the United States. In 2011, it was also listed by SCOPUS, the Modern Language Association International bibliography (MLAIB) and the Bibliography for Asian Studies (BAS) in the United States. These achievements were made possible by the efforts of all the authors and the editorial board who have participated in the development of the journal.
Today, as we face the global outbreak of COVID 19, a virus demonstrating the capacity to catalyse what the German historian Eva Schlotheuber terms a 'pandemic of the mind' where misinformation proliferates and wreaks havoc, and where the lines between fact and fiction are routinely and almost nonchalantly crossed, the value that the intangible heritage holds is becoming increasingly crucial to human wellbeing. Now more than ever, the authors and editors represented herein share the vision that Volume 15 of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage may offer some consolation for the continuity of the human spirit, and can help illuminate a thoughtful path towards sustainable development, one reliant both on science and evidence-based reasoning, as well as respect for human creativity and spiritual energy.
This 15th edition of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage includes 11 research papers and 3 book reviews. Research papers dealing with the cooperative efforts of field practices and academia for the common goal of transmitting Intangible Cultural Heritage are published, including discussions on such subjects as scientific technological practices for the preservation of Intangible Heritage and the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bruneian society which has undergone rapid ethnic, religious and generational change. I express sincere gratitude to the authors who have contributed valuable papers produced from their intensive field research on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Almost as though planned, this volume offers insight into the varied fora in which to encounter, examine and exhibit ICH in its many different forms. Equal attention has been given to the ways in which museums, academia, and administrative policy all play a part in the transmission of ICH to future generations. Equally of interest is the variety of methodologies, structures and systems which inform these approaches, through dissemination from memorialising and transmission to popularising the diversity of human creativity and expression. A wide range of traditional practices and knowledges are showcased in the following pages - from craft to cuisine, from religion to ritual, and from sacred sites to CiteSpace, all contribute to our growing comprehension of the value and virtue of the vernacular.
The National Folk Museum of Korea works together with ICOM to ensure that the diversity of research on Intangible Cultural Heritage is recorded for the education and appreciation of future generations. In addition to the annual publication of the English and the Korean editions of the Journal, we have reorganised the Homepage for the International Journal of Intangible Heritage to make it more readily accessible to users. On the new Homepage, archive materials related to research papers can be easily found, including the searching and downloading of existing research papers. I hope that this Homepage will develop as an Intangible Heritage-related platform on which to introduce and share research on Intangible Heritage around the world.
Museums take centre stage in this volume of a journal that was from its inception designed to introduce and induce better understanding about the role museums could play in supporting the identification, documentation and transmitting of ICH, when provided with the opportunities, policies and resources to do so. In Re/constructing collective memory the authors tell the story of an abandoned coal-mining area in West Sumatra, Indonesia and the transformation of a series of industrial sites into successful heritage museums. This paper's premise is that the reinstatement and formation of community memory in a range of locations and practices associated with coal mining in Sawahlunto constitutes Intangible Cultural Heritage. While all social history museums aspire to pass on community memories to current and future generations, there appears to have been a concerted effort to reconstitute and reinstate the memories of specific demographics in the region (notably of former political prisoners - people in chain' - sent to work in the coal mines), thus connecting the current community with its diverse roots. This gives this museum grouping a distinctive role in fostering community identity and integration.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of those who have worked hard for the publication of the Journal. I express my gratitude to the members of the editorial committee, including the chairman of the editorial board, Alissandra Cummins, Text Editor, Pamela Inder, and the relevant workers at our museum who have shown diligent devotion to each year's publication. I hope the Journal, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, continues to be a platform that shares the value and the importance of Intangible Heritage. Thank you all.