"Another lockdown? Online exhibition, here we go again… As of 13th January 2021, Malaysia is set back again with another lockdown; MCO 2.0. I remember vividly about a year ago, during the first lockdown in March 2020, everyone was in quite a shock. Physical activities had to be stopped. No more gatherings and events in public. Surely this affected everyone especially art galleries. I remember many exhibitions (solo, duo, and group) had to be postponed and some even canceled, the likes of KL Biennale 2020 rings in my mind. " Tok Kura, Curator

#dudukrumahartchallenge

The Love For Arts Is Endless

MCO 1.0 taught me that online presence is very important especially for artists and galleries. Galleries started to publish more on their social media - posting stories, tweets, and statuses. People scroll their timeline more often during the lockdown as people spends more time with their gadgets. More knowledge, visual, audio and video contents are being consumed than ever before.

The virtual or online (referred as online from this point onwards)* exhibition has dated back to the 1990s with the advent of the World Wide Web (www). Since then, hundreds of virtual exhibitions had been created on the internet. Among notable online exhibitions and museums are the Musee Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museo del Prado. Here in Malaysia, we have the likes of the AP Art Gallery and the G13 Gallery to name a few

Being easily accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world as long as one is connected to the internet is one of many reasons that I believe many opt for this especially during the current pandemic. It alleviates time and geographical limitations and is one of the most efficient ways to display contents and to connect to mass audiences.

Online exhibitions have made it possible for collections and artworks to be visited by anyone especially those not in close vicinity to the galleries.

However, this is not to say that online exhibitions are without flaws. One of the many flaws is the lack of interaction between the audience and the artworks. When one visits a physical gallery and view the artworks in person, it comes with its own vibes and a sort of like fulfilment - to be able to see the artworks, to inspect them closely, and to touch them (for works that are meant to be touched).

But there are a lot that can be done to help improve the audiences experience – by including detailed texts, video and/or audio clips from the artist and/or curator, and many more. This will surely help and adds a personal touch. Despite reduced interactions between the audience and the artworks, I am a firm believer that online exhibitions can be a complement to physical shows. I really do hope that once the lockdown has been lifted, after all the MCO, CMCO, RMCO (and many more of these acronyms) are over and we go back to how the way we used to be – the pre-Covid-19 world, online exhibitions will still continue to proliferate.

by Tok Kura, curator of #dudukrumahartchallenge