[Interview] Every Painting Tells a Story: National Gallery Singapore X Samsung Art Store Partnership Introduces World to Southeast Asian ArtBy STF News
Art is a reflection of a region’s history, providing valuable insights into the direction society is headed. This is especially true for National Gallery Singapore, which oversees the world’s largest public collection of modern Singapore and Southeast Asian art — acting as a “melting pot” of art from the region.
Samsung Art Store is an art subscription service that began in 2017 for The Frame, the company’s lifestyle TV. In partnership with more than 50 museums and galleries worldwide, the service provides more than 2,000 pieces of artwork, ranging from famous paintings to unique pieces from emerging artists. Through this service, users can access various works of art in 4K resolution from the comfort of their own homes.
Since April 2022, Samsung Art Store has been partnering with National Gallery Singapore to bring consumers a curated selection of prominent artworks by Singaporean and Southeast Asian artists. A leading visual arts institution, the Gallery is a custodian of over 8,000 works that form Singapore’s National Collection, which capture the changing landscape of this dynamic region.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Jason Ong, Director, Partnership Development at National Gallery Singapore to discuss how the Gallery and its partnership with Samsung Art Store are redefining the role of art galleries and its role in fostering diversity and accessibility.
▲ National Gallery Singapore
Q: National Gallery Singapore’s partnership with Samsung Art Store is fairly recent, having been announced in April 2022. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind this partnership?
National Gallery Singapore is committed to making our collection more accessible as well as to deepen the public’s engagement with our artworks. Collaboration with like-minded partners, such as Samsung, help us to achieve this goal. We are especially heartened to know that though this partnership, artworks from our collection can reach an international audience in the comforts of their home.
As the first Southeast Asian museum represented in the Art Store, our presence on the Art Store allows us to showcase some of our key artworks to a global audience; we hope that this will enhance awareness and appreciation of our region’s rich art history.
Through technology, visitors are able to have a glimpse of the diversity of art and narratives showcased through the selected artworks. We hope this partnership will ignite more interest not only for works from our collection but also for Singapore and Southeast Asian art in general.
Q: Can you tell us more about the Gallery’s goal to foster and inspire a creative and inclusive society? What does this look like?
The Gallery is working towards expanding the hearts, perspectives and horizons of the public through art. We have been steadfast in our ambition to deepen art appreciation in our audiences. Our desire to develop the Gallery as a space for dialogue and discovery also extends to the exhibitions we present. By sharing the magic of storytelling with all, our exhibitions and programs can add to, adapt or remake age-old tales. Our critically acclaimed exhibitions are curated to promote conversations and encourage fresh perspectives on the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world.
Q: Samsung Art Store recently updated its selection from the Gallery’s diverse collections to include pieces from renowned artists such as You Khin, John Turnbull Thomson and Raden Saleh. How were these works chosen?
We display a unique transnational approach towards our collection as we aim to rewrite the art histories of this region. The works selected for Samsung — varying in medium, subject matter and social concerns — demonstrate the diversity of art from the region. You will find a wide range of works drawn from various countries in the region from the 19th to 20th century, varying in medium and artistic style.
Q: Which three would you recommend for users to display on The Frame?
Kampong Pasir Panjang was painted by Singaporean artist, Idris Ali, in 1965. Idris Ali’s paintings of Singapore are important as they serve as visual documentation of our national heritage. We hope that this painting provides an insight into the local landscape of early post-independence Singapore.
▲ Kampong Pasir Panjang (1965) by Idris Mohd Ali
You Khin’s Untitled (Doha Scene: Pakistani Bakers) records the local Pakistani bakery that Cambodian artist, You Khin often visited with his children during his years in Doha and offers insights into how he passed the time in his adopted home. This painting also demonstrates how other regions of the world are interpreted in Southeast Asia’s modern art through artists who travelled widely like You Khin.
▲ Untitled (Doha Scene: Pakistani Bakers) (1990) by You Khin
Boschbrand (Forest Fire) is one of the most iconic artworks of the Gallery represented in the Art Store since the inception of the partnership in April. While this piece isn’t one of the latest additions to the Art Store, it is a remarkable artwork with a dramatic representation of wild animals chased by flames to the edge of the precipice. The work was presented as a gift by Indonesian artist Raden Saleh to his patron King Willem III of the Netherlands in 1850. It is monumental in scale; we are glad that this masterpiece can be displayed and appreciated by The Frame owners from the comforts of their homes.
▲ Boschbrand (Forest Fire) (1849) by Raden Saleh
Q: You’ve worked on digital projects ranging from NFTs to the Web3 universe to make art more interactive and accessible. How do you foresee technology bridging the accessibility gap for consumers and artists in the coming years?
We must continue to harness this ability as we press towards the digital realm alongside everyone else. It is not enough to replicate the experience of visiting our galleries. Instead, visitors will have the opportunity to craft their own unique museum experience through modes of online engagement centered on interaction. Through video tutorials, games and livestreams, individuals can query artists; children can make art with their parents; and students can tour our exhibitions with their teachers.
As part of this initiative, the Gallery has recently created a private blockchain for “Adopt Now,” a public crowdfunding initiative that allows anyone to adopt part of an artwork from its art collection for as little as 50 Singapore Dollars. We are thrilled to report that this micro-giving initiative has received an encouraging response.
Q: Do you have any other upcoming exhibitions or projects you can tell us about? Do you have plans for any more digital art projects in the future?
As an innovative museum, National Gallery Singapore continues to innovate and explore emerging technologies to see what is possible in creating more opportunities for art appreciation among our visitors. To make art even more accessible, the Gallery launched ARText in September, an interactive platform that lets users learn about Southeast Asian art through daily conversations on common messaging apps.
ARText is built on the concept of micro-learning and delivers bite-size and interactive art learning experiences to mobile devices. The Gallery is also looking at personalizing the experience by integrating artificial intelligence text recognition software.
To see more artwork from National Gallery Singapore, head to Samsung Art Store in The Frame.
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[Everyday Life with Art ②] An Artistic Vision for the Home: How Samsung Curates Pieces for the Art StoreBy STF News
Creating your own personal home gallery has never been easier thanks to Samsung Art Store. The Samsung Art Store contains a collection of over 2,000 works created by various artists, connecting people to a wide variety of aesthetic styles, designs and pieces that both inspire and touch the heart.
The Samsung Art Store is making art more accessible for all by providing professionally curated art for The Frame users. From master pieces to modern art and breathtaking photographs, the Samsung Art Store adds a touch of personalization to your home, all displayed brilliantly on a crisp 4K screen.
To learn more about the selection process for curating pieces for the Samsung Art Store, Samsung Newsroom sat down with Daria Brit Greene, Senior Curator for the Samsung Art Store. Read on to learn about how the Samsung Art Store is providing a new way to experience art from the comfort and convenience of your home.
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By STF News
For art to become part of your daily life, your daily life needs to become art first. At Samsung Electronics, Samsung Art Store managers bring this vision to live. Jiyea Kim, Jiwon Shin and Yeseo Choi all manage the planning and operation of the Samsung Art Store in Samsung’s Visual Display Business.
“Why must we have art daily in our daily lives?” To answer the question, Samsung Newsroom sat down with the Art Store managers to learn how artwork at home can refresh an ordinary day and transform our living spaces.
▲ (From left) Yeseo Choi, Jiwon Shin and Jiyea Kim from Samsung’s Visual Display Business’ New Service Business Development Group
Your Life, Centered on Art
The Samsung Art Store is an art subscription service that began in 2017 for The Frame, the company’s lifestyle TV. In partnership with more than 50 museums and galleries worldwide, the service provides more than 2,000 pieces of artwork, ranging from famous paintings to unique pieces from emerging artists. Through this service, users can access various works of art in 4K resolution from the comfort of their own homes.
Even today, consumers can find the traditional ways of viewing art to be unapproachable and inaccessible. However, even if art appreciation seems — at first glance — slightly out of reach, art has the power to benefit our daily lives. “Some people tend to believe that art is distant and difficult, but I believe anything that entertains our eyes and ears is considered art,” Jiyea Kim said. “When you feel exhausted and dull, you can get a boost of energy through art,” added Kim.
Refresh Your Living Space With Digital Art
One of the key features of the Art Store is that users can freely swap out their artwork according to the décor and mood of its surrounding space. There are a wide variety of options available in the Art Store, from renowned masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci to the photography by the LIFE Picture Collection, which captured historical moments of the 20th century.
“I personally use The Frame at home, and I can really see how it effectively changes my home interior,” said Kim. “It’s not easy to frequently change a room’s atmosphere, but with The Frame and the Art Store, I can easily change my space with different artworks — even for different seasons or special occasions like Christmas.”
Yeseo Choi suggested bringing out the space through a welcome painting. “Just like how we offer welcome food or drinks, when you have guests over, you can welcome them with their favorite piece of art on The Frame. It will not only give a new vibe to the space, but it will also present a special experience for guests,” she said.
Bringing Artwork to Your Living Room
The Art Store offers more than just artwork: it also provides a description for each piece and information on the artist. It even includes detailed information on the art museum where the piece is displayed. Thanks to such features, users can gain knowledge of the artwork while enjoying it.
“I saw the original artwork of Gustav Klimt at the Belvedere in Austria. I wanted to return to see it more often, but unfortunately could not,” said Choi. “However, I can now see it every day at home, as the works of Klimt have recently been added to the Art Store.”
“The Art Store vividly delivers each piece’s unique texture and characteristics,” said Choi. “So, even if the original artwork is displayed somewhere far away, you can always see the artwork as if you are looking at the original piece — whenever and wherever you are.”
Jiwon Shin was particularly interested in how children would benefit from the service. “With the Art Store, children can view various artworks that may lead to increased creativity,” Shin said. “Art might be difficult and unfamiliar even for adults. But if you start exposing yourself to art at a young age, you can be more familiar and have better perspectives towards it.”
Tips: Curating Art for Your Home
Looking for a painting or a drawing that fits your preference or reflects your mood? The Art Store comes with built-in recommendation features.
Users can utilize the For You feature to get comprehensive art recommendations that reflect all their preferences.
“The For You feature is a customized recommendation feature based on an algorithm,” said Choi. “For instance, if you enter keywords in the comprehensive search option that represent a certain color, such as ‘red’ or ‘green,’ or a certain mood, such as ‘modern’ or ‘light,’ then you’ll get the relevant artworks recommended for you. So, you can easily find artwork that reflects your mood or fits the space.”
An ongoing curation service is available as well. Through regular curation, the home screen of the Art Store shows recommended artworks suited to a particular subject or theme during a certain period of time.
“You can find previous curations from the Curation menu, so you can look up the subject that fits your preference and find relevant artworks anytime you want,” said Shin.
She also recommended the Favorites and Slide Show features. You can add any work of art to Favorites and set up the timing and duration of the Slide Show feature. According to the setting, the piece will automatically switch. Users can set the artwork to change as often as every 10 minutes or as slowly as once every week.
New Screen Experience Transcending Space and Time
The opening of the Art Store launched an era of users enjoying art anywhere, anytime. So, what’s the future of the Art Store? “Right now, this feature is only the Art ‘Store.’ So, we’re looking to expand the service from simply art discovery to different activities and experiences that users can enjoy in their space,” said Choi.
“Since this service is available for everyone regardless of their age or nationality, I hope more users will use this service,” Shin said. “We’re working hard to enhance the platform’s accessibility.”
“Until now, we’ve focused on promoting how users can access art through the service. But now, it’s become important to showcase the appeal of the service itself,” said Kim. “Our goal is to provide a service that brings happiness and satisfaction to the users as an art platform.”
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[Interview] Mulga X Samsung Art Store Partnership Brings Unlimited Potential to Artists of the Digital EraBy STF News
Samsung Art Store is the epitome of the digital-physical blend, taking over today’s art experiences. It allows widely acclaimed galleries, museums and artists to showcase their masterpieces to users around the world through The Frame’s immaculate digital display. Since its launch in 2017, Samsung Art Store allows extraordinary, one-of-a-kind art selections to be accessible to consumers from the comfort of their own homes.
Mulga is the embodiment of the cool “art dude” persona. The Sydney-based Australian artist is a freelance illustrator, published author and muralist, whose style is vibrant, intricate and just fun. With a career beginning in finance, he transitioned to making a living through art when he decided he wanted to do something he was truly passionate about.
Now, Mulga makes a living doing what he loves. His art is inspired by animals, summer and the ocean, which is brought to life through Samsung’s Art Store. Samsung Newsroom sat down with Mulga to hear more about his artistic process and how he sees digital transformation affecting the art world.
Q: Your work is described by others as intricate, vibrant and unique. In your own words, how would you describe your art style?
I’d say it has a lot of summer vibes and humor to it. It also has real Australian vibes. There are always the black lines and details with an element of fun that tie it all together. You could say that it is art that brings a smile to your face and makes you feel good.
Q: You’ve worked on a variety of projects — collaborations with big brands, murals, smaller original paintings and snowboards. What has been one of your recent favorites?
Last month, I painted a 100-meter-long mural on the beach at Port Macquarie, and that was an awesome one to do. I love the beach, summer and surfing; so, it was the perfect location. At one stage, the waves were washing up against the wall while I was painting, and I had to time it with the tides. This made it a bit more exciting.
Q: How did you start working with Samsung and the Art Store? What excites you the most about this partnership?
I’ve worked with Samsung on a bunch of different campaigns over the years, usually creating art using Samsung products. One time, I even created over 19 mobile phone wallpapers. Samsung is a great partner to work with because they have cool products and do a lot of collaborations with creatives.
I got involved with the Art Store when The Frame was first launched. Samsung licensed one of my gorilla artworks to display on the TVs and to use for printed ads. I painted live at the launch in Sydney and worked a big mural in Melbourne promoting The Frame.
Having my work in the Art Store means that people all around the world are discovering my art. Once someone has seen my piece in the Art Store, they are more likely to find my website, in search for the original painting that they have displayed on their TV. Also, there are royalties based on how long my art is on display on all the TVs around the world.
Q: Much of your work is done in a real, physical way — painting. How do you find your paintings translate to digital display on The Frame? Do you have plans to work with other mediums in the future?
It works great. I scan all my artworks into a high-resolution digital format for The Frame, and it looks close to a real-life painting. While I have no plans to change the way I paint, I would love to turn my paintings into 3D works of art — really big public ones — in the future.
Q: How has your own artwork evolved as technology advanced? Are there any notable changes to your work that were deeply impacted by innovations in technology?
With the rise in blockchain technology and the new thing of being able to ‘own’ digital art now via NFTs, digital art is really having its heyday. As an artist, it is a great thing. I’ve been creating digital art a lot more and particularly when working on my own NFT collection “MulgaKongz.” By creating art on a tablet, I can work anywhere — at the beach, on a boat or in a motor vehicle. It’s very convenient.
In terms of displaying the artwork, digital displays like The Frame provide colors that are super vibrant with all the details on full display. The colors can sometimes even be more vibrant than the real-life paintings so that they appear supercharged. A lot of the times when the artworks are displayed on The Frame, they are larger than the real-life version, and a lot of the details are more noticeable too, which can be more impactful than the real-life smaller versions.
Q: What three pieces of yours would you recommend for users to display on The Frame?
It really comes down to personal preference, but I can tell you that last month, my most popular artwork in the Art Store was the Clifford King of the Point. It’s a painting of a big, bearded dude, standing with his surfboard on my local beach, and he is surrounded by goofy looking seagulls. It’s summery, fun and colorful.
▲ Clifford King of the Point (2020)
The second most viewed artwork of mine last month was a colorful collage style artwork titled Under the Sea. It features coral, fish with moustaches, bearded pineapples and octopus tentacles. I originally drew this artwork for a chain of Poke Bowl restaurants in my hometown of Sydney.
▲ Under the Sea (2018)
Another one of my favorite artworks in the Art Store is titled Cactus Brothers. It’s a painting of two cactus characters wearing sombreros under a starry night sky. They are in the desert surrounded by cacti and palm trees, and an oasis style lake is in the background. It was an artwork, which I was commissioned to paint for a cactus-loving collector of my art.
▲ Cactus Brothers (2021)
To see more of Mulga’s artwork, head to the Samsung Art Store in The Frame.
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