Our Museum Of Failure debut in Asia is in Shanghai. It’s so interesting to see how our exhibit designers and promoters at our SEE China office execute things in a totally different landscape. In the world of Large scale art exhibits, we go really large in China but not how you may think…
In China, production of exhibit sets can happen a lot faster than in America. Their local production allows for temporary structures to be set up very cost-effectively and as a culture, they are already forced to think about how to maximize space at every corner.
The result is a very efficiently produced exhibit space with a quick set up & tear down. One that is not in the least built to last, but built to wow. LED lights line the showcased objects in what looks like a surreal neon world where everything is very precisely measured.
As a culture, Chinese view failure much differently. The actual Chinese symbol for FAILURE is a combination of Fear & Opportunity. That tells us a lot. It tells us that as a wise culture, they have embraced failure a long time ago as a stepping stone to success more than their Western counterparts.
When we launched in Los Angeles, our slogan was Come Fail with Us, which feels a lot safer than BE The Failure, our Shanghai fans are a lot more ready to FAIL in stand alone.
What can we learn about producing exhibit spaces from China? Don’t be afraid of low-cost labor and material, the art after all is temporary. Instead of spend $ on quality paint, lighting, or raw material like wood – spend in on creativity and concept work because that’s what fans will photograph in the end. With a digital media culture that we can learn from, we have scaled our selfie-ops to be Chinafied for all our exhibits to come. When it comes to snap-worthy-moments, they get it!