Take A Look Inside The World's First Meme Museum
We all need a good laugh now and then—especially now. In Hong Kong, Ray Chan's media platform 9Gag, which has successfully focused on viral content to build one of the most-followed brands on Instagram, is on hand to deliver the laughs with what it calls the world's first meme museum.
Meme Museum is a collaboration with K11 Art Mall, a premium Hong Kong mall owned and operated by Adrian Cheng, a member of Gen.T's Tribe and CEO of New World Development.
The exhibition features the very best of the weird and wonderful world of Internet culture. Since it opened its doors earlier this week, Hongkongers have been able to appreciate Internet classics such as Wojak Feels Guy, Disaster Girl, Success Kid and Distracted Boyfriend. The show offers a fascinating snapshot of the way we increasingly use memes—a mixture of words and images spread rapidly on social media—to communicate our thoughts and feelings online, and to make each other laugh.
One of the exhibition's subjects, Muhammad Sarim Akhtar, a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK, but known to meme fans as Disappointed Cricket Fan, responded enthusiastically to the news that he was featured in an exhibition half the world away. "I got featured in Hong Kong 🇭🇰 museum of memes 🎉 yohooo 🤩😍," he posted on LinkedIn.
Meme Museum features over 100 memes across seven themed zones, with names such as Troll Face and Doge. As well as enlarging and physically framing images usually seen on a phone screen, the exhibition uses 3D figures, video and even fragrances to bring the virtual world of memes to life. The exhibition also includes a photo booth, limited-edition games and merchandise, and a tattoo shop where you can experiment with temporary meme tattoos.
While some may scoff at the idea of memes as art, it's clear that Chan has long believed in their equivalency, as Gen.T reported back in 2018.
“Most people ask me how to go viral,” said Chan at the time. “To be honest, they are asking the wrong question. The more important question is 'How is the content serving its audience?'”
This key question is the same for all content, said Chan, no matter the format. “Memes are just a type of content. Great movies, novels and articles also share the [same] principles.”
K11 Art Mall x 9GAG Meme Museum is open until September 5.