Stories of them,
Modern Storyteller is an exhibition created to give 17 up-and-coming designers and artists the opportunity to showcase types of new media and interactive communication within the point of interest of their project that will inspire, motivate and educate the next generation.
Official Website modernstoryteller.org
Category Curation, Exhibition Design, Branding
Client Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Client Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
Carrying over the essence and ambition from three exhibitions that we have previously hosted —±12 (2014), Zero Boundaries (2014) and Level Up (2015)—this exhibition aims to support and stimulate the creative energy amongst aspiring young designers from Taiwan in the United States.
Roles and Responsibilities
I was the co-producer that co-led the curating team with Sandy Lin for this exhibition. My main responsibility is to manage the groups of visual design and promotional campaign.
Team Member and Judges
The curating team consisted of 9 Taiwanese designers and developers from different design backgrounds. They had graduated from most of the major design-related schools in New York City including Parsons, Pratt, SVA, and NYU. Through these team members, the information about submission and exhibition could be delivered effectively among students and newly graduates.
In addition, our judges were invited regarding their expertizes and reputation within the industry. All of them would grade all the submissions, and the judge whose expertizes are aligned with the submission category would have a higher percentage while averaging all the results.
Exhibition Experience With Coherent Narratives
Because of the nature of curating numerous designers in different fields, it would be challenging to design a coherent experience in the exhibition. However, after reviewing the majority of the projects from past exhibitions, we concluded that most of the projects focused on storytelling regardless of the media of their choice. Furthermore, these featured designers and artist like to experiment with the latest technology alongside their design process. Thus, we decided on that the identity the exhibition would be Modern Storyteller.
Expanding The Demographic Of Our Audience
Most of our previous exhibitions were held at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York. It provided a spacious room for us to curate the exhibitions around, but it also limited the demographics of our audience to mostly Taiwanese. After weeks of research, we found Rabitthole Studio, a cozy exhibition friendly studio located on a street where many tourists take pictures at Dumbo, Brooklyn NY. Given the advantages of this location, we did not only expand our exhibition outside of Manhattan but also attract tourists and art enthusiasts to our exhibition.
Whether an animation that depicts the personal story of the designer or a social experiment installation that interact its audience with emojis, the selected narrative projects could all be divided into three main categories: their stories, his/her stories, or my stories.
We curated the path of the exhibition to follow the order of “Read Mine”, “Read His/Her”, and “Read Everyone’s” so people would experience the increase perspectives from individuals to the community as a whole. Lastly, after viewing all the projects, we would like our audiences to tell their own stories in our workshop, “Tell Me Your Story.” The installation would render a short animation of the user’s appearance based on the user’s narrating speed and volume. The results were published on our Instagram and Facebook to future document the exhibition and souvenirs for our audiences.
The identity of the Modern Storyteller was designed to emphasize the integration between the process of design and technology-related visuals.
Online Promotion - Website, Facebook, Instagram
Other than the official website for the exhibition, our main social media platform is Facebook. Based on our past exhibitions, Facebook is the social media where the majority of our audience received our information and interacted with us. While setting up a public event page, we have also created a fan page for building the reputation of the exhibition to gain for sponsorships in the future. In addition, we have also boosted the viewership using the Facebook advertising tools to expand our social media reach. Other means of online information distributions include Instagram and sending emails through different schools around New York City.
Offline Promotion - Posters, Flyers, Tote Bags & Pencils
Meanwhile, we have posted posters regarding submission and exhibition information at different design schools and various social locations. We also sent out physical flyers at major events like Taiwanese Waves at Central Park and Taiwanese Day at Union Square that eventually contribute to the increase in audience number according to the feedback. In addition, people who donated to support Modern Storyteller would receive our branded tot bags and pencils as souvenirs.
The exhibition gathered more than 400 visitors altogether in two days. 35 news and blogs reported about the exhibition. It was also considered to be the most successful exhibition with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office according to the report from NYDECO and the feedback from other returning audiences. Many people had specifically mentioned their love for the new exhibition location.
With the success of Modern Storyteller, it would only be reasonable to continue curating exhibitions to showcase talented emerging Taiwanese designers and artists. However, we have also concluded that there are still some improvements to be made to move along with future exhibition, including more local and mainstream media coverage in the US, more comprehensive visual documentation, and more.