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After 15 years of being the veritable digital nomad of art collections, dslcollection is setting down some roots, while also expanding its technological flex. 

What happened?

dslcollection, a body of contemporary Chinese art, has entered into a partnership with the Modern Art Research Institute in Kyiv and V-Art, a new platform allowing art to be exhibited, collected, and traded.

The agreement will see dslcollection establish a new physical space in Kyiv, its second such physical installation after landing at Shenzhen’s Pingshan Museum in early summer. It will also see V-Art take part in VR Art Village, a social art-centric metaverse funded by dslcollection.

How will it work?

Visitors at dslcollection’s installation at the Pingshan Museum in Shenzhen. Image: Pingshan Museum

The Kyiv installation will lead on from Shenzhen’s Pingshan Museum where visitors can don a VR headset and roam a (virtual) room dedicated to the collection. Onsite in Ukraine, V-Art will manage the project with the Modern Art Research Institute’s team taking charge of most curatorial decisions for a show set to feature both the dslcollection and work from local artists. 

What is dslcollection?

Founded by French couple Sylvain and Dominique Levy in 2005, dslcollection is comprised of work from some of China’s most celebrated avant-garde artists including Zhang Huan, Wang Guangyi, and Ai Weiwei. 

The collection is noteworthy for its pioneering openness to new technologies. It launched on YouTube shortly after being founded, entered online virtual world Second Life in 2009, joined Apple’s App store in 2011, and recently helped develop a video game, The Forgetter, that integrates collection works.

What is V-Art

Dedicated to the showcase and sale of digital work, V-Art will participate in VR Art Village, a metaverse project funded by dslcollection. Image: V-Art

Launched in March 2020, amid the rush of public interest in art NFTs, V-Art has been founded by a collection of (largely Ukrainian) art, IP, and IT experts. Their goal is to create a transparent and legal platform for digital art and its surrounding community. 

Why it matters

As cultural institutions, galleries, and collectors alike grapple with questions of accessibility and technological innovation foisted upon them by the pandemic, dslcollection continues to explore new ways of engaging wider audiences.  

It’s an example of what can be achieved through innovative partnerships that balance public and private concerns, and bring together compatible stakeholders in the art industry — in this case, a significant art collection, a group with technical know-how, and an institution keen to showcase digital work.  

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Bringing VR in a museum means engaging with a new type of audience and encouraging local artists to create with this new medium,” Sylvain Levy tells Jing Culture & Commerce. “The Kyiv project explores the edge combining art and technology through VR, and promoting dialogue among artists, technical teams, and viewers.”

Next up? dslcollection is in conversation on further expansion with the National Museum of Bogota, Colombia, among other institutions.

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CultureTech, Museums & Cultural Institutions