Western Museums and Cultural Institutions on WeChat
The Centre Pompidou’s connection to China took a giant leap in 2019 when it opened a branch along Shanghai’s West Bund. Back in Paris, the institution synonymous with great modern art has enhanced its in-house Chinese experience with the launch of a WeChat Mini Program. Aiming to serve as a visitor assistant that breaches the language barrier, the Mini Program includes in-depth artist information, maps, and an audio guide that explores 15 masterpieces and 10 modern artists. A post introducing readers to the new “visitor friend” was the museum’s most read in December.
Many Western museums saw their WeChat traffic dip in December —a lull that will likely pick up as travelers take advantage of the Chinese New Year period (Jan 25). Not so for New York’s premier modern art museum which maintained performance as it continues its China-smart approach that accompanied its Fall 2019 reopening. While most institutions created festive content, MoMA focused on exploring its collection with its post “I’ve Got Art, Have You Got Beer?” a strong example. The museum matched works with popular brews such as an Elaine de Kooning alongside a double IPA and a pilsner sipped before Paul Cadmus a sketch. Cheers.
Chinese Museums and Cultural Institutions on WeChat
The 2010s saw UCCA fully establish itself as a guiding force in China’s art scene. The final year of the decade was indicative of this presence with a record-breaking Picasso exhibition and the announcement of a Shanghai branch among its achievements. 2020 promises much for the 798 Art Zone institution, as its most popular post in December laid out. Highlights include an exhibition focusing on the development of digital computer art, a look at some of China’s most prominent contemporary artists, and a summer showing that will stage art from New York’s East Village scene of the 1980s. Expect the requisite Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat IP products to become Beijing’s hottest commodities when the exhibition opens in May.
Architecturally, Suzhou Museum may be of impeccable progressive design, but its artistic offerings tend towards the traditional. When it comes to WeChat, the home of revered Chinese painting and calligraphy is adept at making its collection and exhibits relevant. As its recent post detailing the somewhat dry-sounding exhibit “Collections of the Pan Family from Suzhou in the Qing Dynasty” shows, videos, songs, emojis, and gifs drawing parallels to Chinese pop culture can bring art closer to a 21st century audience. Sometimes, compelling content presented in the right way is all that is required for a popular WeChat post.