In Manhattan, New York, there is a kind of candy museum with Art works and sculptures made with candy are hung everywhere. Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, “The Starry Night,” was made up of 15,000 candies. Since its opening in August 2018, the museum has been attracting many tourists. Tickets are always sold out for the first 200 people every hour. There is only one reason why they visit Candytopia. It is to make memories at a unique museum and take pictures there. Photo booths are placed all over Candytopia to take pictures. It is not just a camera, but an augmented reality program with various effects. For example, if you take a picture with a rainbow background and check the picture, a rainbow appears on your smartphone screen. These photos can be uploaded directly to the social media account. George Zapata, chief operating officer of Canditopia said,
“It’s designed to provide the maximum experience with social media including Instagram, Snap Chat and Facebook in mind.” and”These photos on social media call another tourist.”
The Color Factory , near Soho is a unique museum with 16 rooms decorated with different themes and colorful colors. The museum is also very crowded, as its biggest attraction is known as a good place to take pictures on Instagram. The ice cream museum, which was created three years ago in a pop-up format, attracted 300,000 viewers for five days, it’s beacause quickly gained popularity through social media. Social media is changing the experience and spending habits of museum and art works. Experts say that it is not just the art appreciation of objects and works, but It’s a new art appreciation in the digital media world that people go and take selfies with art work and share them on social media.
The digital director of the Jewish Museum in New York, JiaJia Fei, said, “In the digital age, we expect the traditional art objects to be reborn as social objects.” and she also mentioned that,
“Before the digital age, it was a message ‘I saw this,’ but today it’s a message ‘I went there, I saw it, and I took a selfie.’
In other words, it is the concept of being at the center of ‘myself’ rather than the works of art in museums and art galleries. This has become a new trend created by social media and smartphone cultures. The keyword is that the works on display in museums must be immersible and able to communicate with visitors.
A good example is ‘The Obliteration Room’, which was first installed for the Queensland Art Gallery by Japanese installation artist Yayoi Kusama. In this white room, visitors can attach color stickers wherever they want. Later on, it turns into a total light room that no one expected. You can take a selfie photo where you can upload it on Instagram and get a “Like” picture.
The photos posted on social media are continuing their explosive success story in pop-up museums, as they bring in more visitors. Installation artists created an environment where visitors could participate in making artworks or take selfies with bright lighting and simple, elegant artistic decorations. Pop-up art galleries have become trendy as they prove businesslike Even if a well-known installation artist did not participate, If the exhibition hall is made so that pictures can be taken well, it has been proven to be businesslike.
As the trend has become more popular, even traditional museums, which were conservative in photography, are changing. Most museums have strictly banned photography to protect copyrights and light-sensitive paintings. However, with the growing influence of social media, the policy on photography has changed dramatically since 2015. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City already allow ordinary people to take photos for non-commercial purposes. The number of visitors flocking to museums has increased since they were encouraged to take pictures.
However, there are disadvantages to these trends. According to the Brush Research Center, the more visitors to the museum focus on taking pictures and posting them on social media, the less excitement they get from art works in gallery.
“A viewer who intends to take pictures and share them on social media takes away the opportunity for real people to feel moved by the artwork,” said Alexandra Barash, a marketing expert at New York University professor.