The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts has launched a permanent exhibition titled “Aggregation & Blooming—Artists, Groups, and the Development of Fine Arts in Taiwan,” showcasing 108 pieces presenting the relationship and context of the development Taiwanese art and art groups in the 20th century.
As a permanent exhibition employing the principles of universal design, the exhibition is designed with cultural access and equality in mind. Not only is it planned with demonstrations and advice from elders, it also takes into account the services needed by visitors with visual or hearing impairments.
NTMoFA has been actively working to offer activities promoting equality of services since 2013, and “Aggregation & Blooming” combines sign-language guided tours and 3D touch assistive devices with large-type versions of texts, braille plaques, and wheelchair-accessible layout to ensure that everyone can get closer to the arts.
As NTMoFA adheres to the concepts behind the “iCARE Service Mark” by offering activities built around Customization, Accessibility, and Responsibility that also have Edutainment value, the museum hopes to work with other venues in the future to raise the level of access and service in museums nationwide.
For years the museum has been dedicated to serving students with special educational needs, whether due to visual, hearing, intellectual, or physical impairments, and this accumulated experience, along with familiarity serving the elderly and those who have dementia, have all been incorporated into the user design of “Aggregation & Blooming.”
The layout of the exhibition not only takes into account the need for wheelchair users to navigate comfortably but has also included having artworks mounted at heights comfortable for those same guests to view.
The works on display are also accompanied by large-type materials to help the elderly and those with low vision, along with 43 videos with sign-language information for the hearing impaired, helping even those lovers of art with visual or hearing issues get the most from these visits.
An audio guide system is also available along with 3D-printed touch assistive supplements to offer an even deeper understanding of the exhibits for visually impaired visitors.
The exhibition's audio image touch navigation system is based on the theme of “housing.” It is presented through four different 3D printed and interactive methods, simultaneously responding and highlighting the creative styles and materials of each era in the exhibition.
The 3D touch assistive device for Taiwanese artist Tan Ting-pho's painting "Tamsui Landscape” is the first such device to be a single, 1:1-scale replica of such a work in Taiwan.
With plaques in both braille and written Chinese, even visitors without visual impairments can explore the art through touch and experience it through a whole new lens.
Portable chairs are also available for both children and adults to use individually and in groups, so those who want to immerse themselves in the exhibits for a bit longer can do so comfortably.
The permanent exhibition also features regular fixed seating with handrails – a friendly service to help guests with a variety of needs – further contributing to an all-encompassing exhibition experience in which any and all can come, immerse themselves in art, and share in the educational mission of the museum.