Western Museums and Cultural Institutions
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
With an established reputation for hosting exhibitions that appeal to Chinese visitors, NGV saw an uptick in WeChat traffic following the announcement of its upcoming KAWS exhibitions. The iconic street-art inspired work has long been popular in China, a point made clear by the 2017 showing at Shanghai’s Yuz Museum and the hype surrounding the KAWS X UNIQLO collaboration in June. NGV’s six-month long exhibition promises to tap into both the booming Chinese cultural tourism market and its penchant for making gift shop purchases.
Asian Art Museum
San Francisco’s world-renowned space for Asian art and culture enjoyed an improved August with a 140 percent increase in WeChat views. Posts included an interview with museum curator Dr. Xu Jie, a deep-dive into the origins of the dragon mythology in China, and a preview of an upcoming exhibition of art recovered from shipwrecks.
Chinese Museums and Cultural Institutions
The Palace Museum added another facet to its digital arsenal this month with “The Forbidden City 600”, an educational app to support its exhibitions and permanent collection. The app goes beyond the typical museum downloadable and includes animated videos, games, and a full digital recreation of the Forbidden City. Released in IOS (with an Android version expected shortly), “The Forbidden City 600” is further evidence of China’s leading tourist destination providing its visitors with a dynamic modern museum experience.
Suzhou Museum continued its solid presence on WeChat in August and showed the value of using catchy headlines, humorous content, and strong illustrations. Posts introducing its upcoming exhibition “The Painted Screen: Past and Future,” averaged 21,000 views. Despite tackling some of the complexities of Chinese art history, the posts manage to engage readers by using internet slang and memes. For western museums and cultural institutions hoping to connect with the modern Chinese traveller, deploying contemporary internet culture in WeChat posts should be on the radar.
About the Jing Travel WeChat Index
The Jing Travel WeChat Index is a monthly roundup of how western museums and cultural institutions are performing on China’s foremost social media platform and placing them alongside their Chinese counterparts.
Data collection and analysis by Richard Whiddington and Wenzhuo Wu