"Never confuse movement with action."

- Ernest Hemingway

"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

  - Albert Einstein

© 2019 by Yea Gyeong Cho.  

 All rights reserved  

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DANCE MASKS

VISIO GALLERY

On April 15th, 2018, I still remember Celebrating Asia Week, Gallery event was hosted By Visio Art Gallery Promotion In NewYork. This is the story of how I made a positive impact in showing exotic art to everyone in NewYork and how to help branding and design for the gallery at that event.

Weibo from China also featured this visual design and branding development on their website. Here is the link.

Weibo certification: well-known design aesthetics blogger education video from the media.

To comply with my confidentiality agreement, I have omitted and appropriated confidential information. I could talk about the process that I made for branding identity and product development for the artwork from the delivery process to Exhibit but not the whole process of the Gallery.

DANCE MASKS

Dance Masks is a watercolored original artwork designed by Yea Gyeong Cho who has a Korean background. Mask dance is one of the well-known national treasure.  The Dance Masks was exhibited by Visio Art Gallery and curated by Lauren Smith 

MY ROLE

I was part of the artist and Graphic design team responsible for presenting the artwork to the clients of Curator, Art Director for the show and people from NewYork. We have a curator but each of everyone has a responsibility to promote their artwork. I designed Tin can, Pamphlet, Titles, Branding Images, Hangers, Holders for my own canvas.

Carefully handling miniatures at Prahlad Bubbar from India

CUSTOMER INSIGHT

The Visio Gallery for Asian art project consists of people in the 20-70 age range who are interested in Asian art.
I was part of the artist and Branding design team who are responsible for presenting the artwork to uncover insights and translate concepts into features that address customer behaviors and motivations. We have a curator but each of everyone has a responsibility to promote their artwork. I designed Tin can, Pamphlet, Titles, Branding Images, Hangers, Holders for my own canvas. 

EXPERIENCE STRATEGY & VISION

I created an illustration and design framework for the promotion item used at the gallery event to share the vision, design principles and content strategy. This helped to evangelize ideas, gain alignment and drive decision making.

PLANNING & SCOPE DEFINITION

I evangelized customer goals and balanced business goals. I prioritized and negotiated features for launch and beyond.
The art gallery curator, Lauren is to maintain and nicely show the gallery's collection of Asian heritage. The curator helps select what works to display and where and how they are shown professionally. Some of these decisions will be motivated by the curator's assessment of the relative value of different artworks.
This was another challenging moment that caused some frustration.
Creating those evaluations and establishing creative and pleasing ways of displaying the items are also areas that fall under the curator's umbrella of duties. 

OVERSIGHT & COORDINATION

I illustrated and designed across and collaborated with art and installation platforms, art directors and branding designers and their partners to translate product features for each platform context.

THE CHALLENGE

Create a happy relationship with customers
The main requirements were clarification and creating
Informative pamphlets for International Asian Art. These pamphlets must be easy to read in all situations.
  • Try to use familiar, understandable words and phrases.
  • Keep text clear and concise
  • Avoid Language that might sound ambiguous
  • Use relevant examples and images
  • Strive for an informal and friendly tone, but not rude (everyone is different)

CHASING WATERFALLS

Each feature phase of the project was serialized, starting with the design and development for the reference platform

I followed by working with platform designers to translate Asian cultural and social features for client's mutual context. Concurrently, I would design the next feature in the pipeline for future Asian events, whilst also working with my own platform.

Feature design and development were broken into parallel workstreams for the  Art Gallery event. There are so many things going on. Since this event held in the west side of NewYork, time-frame was important, and we had to make sure there were no-delays and damages to art-works.

THE DISCOVERY 

CUSTOMER INSIGHT
New trends and new Buyer collections are coming on in NewYork.
NewYork had an Asia week in Westside Gallery and The Met event in 2014.
Thanks to the big events in NewYork, lots of people are starting to collect and enjoy oriental Art and there were some moves to foster exotic art. 
Customers and event planners and researchers are coming in and asking a lot of questions regarding these events.

LEAN-BACK &

LEAN FORWARD

The primary segments are customers interested in Asian art and Buddhism cultures and customers that connected to their inner thoughts. Also, they are interested in the Samurai Battle Exhibition.
Everything is not working manually. That is the Gallery and we have a very tight deadline to collect all the artwork and make sure every art piece arrives at the office in a timely manner. 
How to present, format, install, and show artwork to the client. Understanding the process is also helpful to make the pamphlet nice
All rehearsals, installations, and updates should be done within 3 weeks.
Photo Courtesy of The future of UX/UI Structure, Syndicode Blog.com
Stephen Anderson's UX Hierarchy of Needs heavily influenced our product strategy.

A Collaborative Culture with UX Process

Building Trust with People

We make sure that every functional and reliable part such as delivery on time to the Gallery and installation work, artist name and titles, great user feedback and art director sections and introduction, explanation about cultures.
This Visio Gallery is a truly meaningful event for artists who could show off their artwork and who they are.
Meeting with key Art industry people helped us to understand their business needs and what makes them come to this gallery.
I shared my vision for this event and also listened to user's expectations and feedback genuinely.
Following this, I crafted an experience strategy outlining our stage and made my own report for the next step.
I shared my report with Lauren, so she could give me some suggestions.
Sharing experience and culture with sophisticated people.
Ample opportunities for input at all stages of the project built trust and created a comfortable environment to share ideas and forming a gallery event which plans to the annual event for the future will serve much value beyond this phase.

Make Sure Twice Deploy Everywhere

The art market is getting down.
However, if you deploy twice, maybe this could be your opportunity to shine.
I ordered every single frame promotion items and pamphlet print, guideline accordingly in an efficient manner, dealing with gallery schedule and business hour.

THE VISION

WE MADE AN EVENT SO YOU CAN UNDERSTANDING ART BETTER AND
NETWORK WITH OTHER PEOPLE

WHAT DOES 'ART & CULTURE' MEAN TO YOU?

I do my own research to share 'Korean traditional art' to people.
I targeted Dance Mask and would love to show the idea.
I also kicked off a technical discovery phase to understand feasibility and constraints.
After designating Persona types and aligning this with phasing strategy. I can prioritize who we would be focusing on supporting in the early stages.
"Using personas constantly throughout the project to guide design decisions,
priorities, and create empathy amongst the client, art director, buyers, and artist."

USER PERSONA

HOW WE GOT THERE

Through careful analysis of my research, I identified sufficient variables to segment our target user audience. I discussed this topic with artists and art directors, art collectors, art buyer, curators, and social influencers to develop a clear picture of this process.
Their variables could be categorized into activities.
No matter the clients' taste or where they are from, they are interested in Variety of Asian Culture. They need a clear and concise explanation of each illustration. Also if this is possible, they prefer to simple and easy translation not old English that nobody can understand. Otherwise, It is hard to remember all the featured artwork within a few hours of the broad exhibition. 
The biggest challenge I faced throughout this project was balancing moving forward with designs, whilst collaborating with the wider team. Since this project touched every part of our music business, I needed to coordinate and get buy‐ins from many teams that were both co‐located and distributed. This was hard.
Managing lots of people's feedback was even more challenging because it felt like a swinging pendulum of viewpoints. The actual artwork was beautiful, however, when this artwork goes to social media, some artists don't want to go viral. Also, some sensitive decorations were featured,  so we had to be careful with everything.
This was quite time-consuming but saved a lot of back-and-forths as the project progressed.
Design principles and the content prioritization framework helped to create visibility into my decision‐making process and galvanize the team to share in the vision
Asking for all the information immediately, I made pamphlet for my illustration work to give a better understanding to clients in the art gallery.
Showing gallery brand identity and visualization gives clients a better understanding of things.
This could be helpful for a curator who deals with many people on a daily basis.

Tight timing meant that I needed to be efficient in conducting user research and collecting useful information. Luckily, I found a nice tin can with my illustration for art gallery show to be promoted my artwork to others. I also conducted a range of interviews with art directors and buyers to know what got them interested in Asian art events. Are there any other events for suggestions?

Surprisingly, they'd already attended several events and bought a lot of work and were still willing to buy some artwork in the future. 

THE CONTROVERSIAL MOMENT

There is still a controversial moment that we might have to think about while we gather some explanation. I would like to show what was the controversial topic while we had an event at that time. This is a general example of a controversial topic.

“Don’t turn a friend’s culture into a costume.”

- SUSAN SCAFIDI, FASHION LAW INSTITUTE AT FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL

The Sikh turban is a sacred article of faith, not a fashion accessory.

Gucci faced backlash from the Sikh community earlier this year when it sent white (non-Sikh) models down the runway wearing turbans. Apparently, no one at the fashion house recognized that the turban is an article of clothing with religious significance, not just a cool-looking hat.

You might want to reconsider that “oriental” bodysuit.

There’s a common thread to all these crimes of cultural appropriation: things go sour when people borrow ideas from numerous Asian countries and lump them together in an “Eastern”-inspired look.

Photo Courtesy of Guests at Asia Week New York.
Contemporary Chinese etchings at Martha Sutherland.

THE LAUNCH

Pulling the Trigger

On the evening of April, we began the gallery event. It was a really rewarding moment from start to finish.

Good Start And It’s Still Groundwork for the NEW

It’s only been 10years since NewYork started celebrating Asian culture.

Yet the results have exceeded our expectations.  The median number of visited customers has increased by 186% compared to average customer visit statics.

We improved on key people engagement, social events and art-buying market. 

Increased new customer rate by 35%

Photo Courtesy of The MET museum, The Asian Collection

THE BEAUTY OF ART

Through careful analysis of my research, A better introduction of Asian art could bring different results. People really love the idea of gallery and lots of people were buying prints and posters, postcard and sharing their business information.
It was another social gather event with current art related industry.
Everyone wanted to become an enabler for better art gallery events and getting to know each other. This is such a living museum event ongoing in NewYorkCity.
The emotional and visual effect of exotic art can make people curious and know more about different cultures and lots of variety to grow for the future community.
Understanding the challenge, how to approach the market, value to help our client understand the importance of aesthetics and tones of voice to the experience.

“The art world is an equivalent of having Anna Wintour come clothes shopping with you.”

– Ima Ebong, Collector

COMMUNICATION 

The huge size of this project and structured waterfall approach would commit to moving forward with the work. Many artists and installation teams were involved in the project needed to see it in a tangible document.

Also, art director collaborated with branding with the curator about the concept.

This risk-averse mindset meant I created a lot of reference documentation that was widely distributed and high overhead to maintain and better idea for

branding since I have the background of Asian and western culture. In the early stages, I focussed only on representing the highest risk areas of the design. Sketch and Prototyping was the most effective way to gain meaningful feedback from the curator and art director. I was able to easily distribute these with clear vision for the events.

OUTCOME AND ACHIEVEMENTS

The introduction for Asian art, basic Dance Masks branding, and artwork were released in the incredible Visio Art Gallery in NewYorkCity. Thanks to my working experience and studying in art school, I can collect all the research, data and information from artist, curator, art collector, art director, buyers, etc.
OVER 20,000 PEOPLE
coming in the gallery and there were more than 150pieces of original artwork sold out. I can feel a lively market inside the gallery and there is something more than just art. I met a wide range of people, event organizers, social media influencers, etc. The exhibition eventually impressed the artist and galley people behind this project pitch my idea for a successful seed round. 

Talking to the clients, they gave lots of feedback and business inspiration for the better gallery events and how to prepare for the show next time as an artist.

Also, it was interesting that people were willing to buy artwork online or offline. Lots of visitors had experienced buying artwork pieces before.

RESPONSIBILITY

I worked on this project as an illustrator and designer for Gallery Brand Identity.

BRINGING IT ALL TO LIFE

PEOPLE LOVE THE GALLERY EVENTS

All the hard work was done, and the event was packed full of people.

Not only did they enjoy the gallery, they also had the opportunity to chat with the artists who drew and painted the original artwork which was cool.

Designers expect users to read from top to bottom and left to right. But in reality, users read print copy incredibly fast. Steve Krug, author of “Don't Make Me Think,” compares the user experience to “reading a billboard going by at 60 miles per hour.”

  1. Keep every explanation clear and concise.

  2. Be careful when using humor, be aware of people's historical backgrounds.

  3. Refer to dates accurately

LAST MINUTE PIVOTS

WAYFINDING & PAMPHLET

I observed that customers had difficulty finding gallery location while I was in the school gallery event. I felt disoriented at that moment. So, I came up with the idea for a pamphlet and wayfinding for the users.

STRATEGY WITH TACTICS

I do my own research for Korean Art to make a better explanation. I also help to write explanations for other artworks.

Over a two‐week period, we ran a diary study and usability test. We also used this time to test the viability of future concepts.

  • Acquire, interpret, and plan installations/exhibitions of artwork.

  • Document collections, including sales or loan of artwork.

  • Plan and oversee events and sales.

  • Research, solicit, and build relationships with artists and clients.

This allowed me to communicate the severity of the pain‐points and facilitate conversations about the areas and satisfaction for clients.

THE FINAL IMPACT

  • Increased staying hour per customer by 36% increased attention.

  • Increased new customer visit by 35%

Thanks to curator Lauren and all the artist, visitors, collectors and bloggers from the gallery, the art gallery exhibition was successful and I learned a lot from how things are going inside of art branding and target for the special market for specific people.
By learning more about the gallery process at this stage, I've been able to promote the idea and assess the risk points, immediately.
Let's have some fresh coffee and I will share what I've learned from there.

“So many great artworks from Southeast Asia. I should check this event every year”

 

“This is totally awesome! Thanks so much for inviting me to this event. The drinks and Dessert are great and this space is lovely. ”

 

“I am excited to get to know a lot of artists and painters, illustrators from here, they are so talented.”

“That is fantastic!!!!!! Definitely, want to check similar events later!”

“This area is really crowded with people, hopefully, you can find a bigger space than here, but it is an honor to be here."

Next Project

Custom Branding