MeshMinds x SGInnovate – Is Social Media The New Gallery?

Posted on November 3, 2017

With the increasing number of online platforms for people to share their work such as Facebook, Instagram and DeviantArt and Etsy, artists are able to upload their artwork with just a simple click. Within seconds, people from all around the world are able to view works of art in digital form. Despite this convenience, there have been debates about whether social media brings more advantages or disadvantages when it comes to sharing art in this way. For our second panel discussion, in collaboration with SGInnovate, we decided to explore this topic.

On our panel we have (from left to right): Kay Vasey, Simon Kemp, Sara Varela, Mathan Raj, Christel Quek, Bryan Ho, Adam Bow.

A Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees also opened up more insights about what social media offers, and the possibilities that it could bring in the future without compromising on the artistic integrity and value of an artwork.

The general consensus in the room was that whilst the experience of physically being in the gallery space and the impermanence of the exhibits are elements that social media documentation cannot replicate, social media has become increasingly important for raising awareness of art and its associated messaging. Everyone now has the potential to play the role of ‘art-critic’ offering the ‘untrained eye’ a global audience. This is not something to be seen in polarising way: ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Social media is here to stay so artists, curators, gallerists and museums should embrace its power to reach out and connect with audiences in a way not previously possible prior to the proliferation of the internet.

Bryan Ho, founder of Yllustrations, a drawing platform which has amassed almost 700,000 social followers on Facebook has a greater following than a large institution such as ArtScience Museum, with only 100,000 social followers. This is testament to the power of social media, driven by the ‘stickiness’ of a channel’s content and the feeling of ‘realness’, Bryan has enjoyed huge success for a one-man band who is still studying at university!

Thank you all for attending this panel discussion, we hope that you’ve enjoyed what was shared (and the drinks!). Huge thanks as always to SGInnovate for the venue, and our amazing panelists for their fresh perspectives on this subject. Looking forward to future collaborations, cheers!

About our panelists:
1) Adam Bow, Head of Creative, Carat Content
2) Bryan Ho, Founder of Yllustrations
3) Christel Quek: Technology Executive, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of BOLT
4) Mathan Raj, LASALLE BA Design Communication Student
5) Sara Varela, Social Media Strategist, ArtScience Museum
6) Simon Kemp, Founder & CEO, Kepios
Moderator: Kay Vasey, Technology Lawyer, Lead Investor, MeshMinds