The work of Sāmoan-Japanese artist Yuki Kihara reclaims the work of Paul Gauguin’s from a Fa’afafine (Sāmoa’s ʻthird gender’) perspective. This year, Kihara became the second New Zealander of Pacific descent to be invited to global Biennales.

Travel restrictions due to the pandemic meant that attendees from Aotearoa and across the globe would not have access to the international exhibition.

Therefore, our challenge question for this project was: How might we turn travel restrictions into an opportunity for making the arts more accessible?

Our answer was to collaborate with the Arts Council of New Zealand toi Aotearoa and Yuki Kihara to create an AI-supported virtual experience that opened access to the exhibition from anywhere.

Examples of artwork information screen, accessed by scanning the artwork in the art gallery with the phone camera

The results

IRL visitors to the exhibition during the first 4 days
Virtual visitors to the exhibition
Page views for the web experience
Countries virtually attended the exhibition

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