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Virtual galleries selling fine art via app

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Teang Borith showing his artwork on June 9. SUPPLIED

Virtual galleries selling fine art via app

Physical art exhibitions allow you to get inside the gallery hall and enjoy the artworks in a set time at a set place for a limited time period.

But now you don’t have to travel to a gallery to view and purchase artwork if you are too busy with work.

All you have to do is download the YouAdMe app to your smartphone and access the Angkor Art category and you can shop for several dozen things through it.

“Angkor Art has a category of its own in YouAdMe’s ‘Shop’ section,” said Zhi Ying, chief commercial officer of YouAdMe, a social e-commerce platform business that operates in Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines.

She says that the name YouAdMe is derived from the words You-Advertise-Me. “‘You’ the consumer helps ‘Me’ the business owner to ‘ADvertise’ the business’ products and services based on your own experiences”.

According to the company, YouAdMe is a mobile application that allows creative individuals or artists to showcase their works and connect with a larger audience through a unique digital structure that supports them in a digital gallery setup with network building, marketing promotions and logistics coordination.

People can find Angkor Art under one of the categories in the “Shop” section of the app, according to Ying.

The Angkor Art Movement 2022 is a nationwide campaign to support Cambodia’s aspiring artists and enable them to flourish through physical and virtual exhibitions, competitions and workshops.

“Tapping into the rise of digital technology, the Angkor Art movement makes the process of discovering emerging artists and buying works of art by Cambodian artists accessible to art lovers across the world.

“Before this, starting an art collection seemed out of reach for the general public with auction houses monopolising the primary fine art market. Now, the movement is reshaping the rules of supply and demand,” Ying says.

The goal of Angkor Art is to contribute to the revitalisation of the local arts scene with the combined efforts of presenter MSQM ZTH – an established property developer in Cambodia – and international partner Frasers Hospitality.

“Various types of consumer products are available on the YouAdMe platform. The Angkor Art category specifically features all kinds of artwork produced by local artists,” she says.

One of several artists who are selling their artwork in the Angkor Art shop on the platform is Sou Kimsan. He said it was a first for him to have his art exhibited through an online platform since he normally has it hanging on gallery walls.

“It feels amazing but it still seems strange to me that my artworks are on this international platform,” says Kimsan, who has more than 10 oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings for sale at the Angkor Art shop.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man checks out artwork for sale via the app on June 15. Hong Menea

“Now the social media has more influence to promote products – including works of art – I think this platform can show Cambodian art not only locally, but it also lets people around the world know what we are doing and helps develop our art scene,” the artist tells The Post.

Another local artist, Teang Borith, who does unique depictions of Apsaras with no faces, said that he never knew much about selling art online via apps and it’s a first time for him, too, aside from selling through Facebook.

“Angkor Art is just a shop online – the same as other online shops – but it sells all types of art. I am interested in this platform because people can view it worldwide,” said Borith, who also has 10 paintings on the platform.

YouAdMe has a goal of having over a hundred pieces of original artwork available in its shops by the end of the month. There will be a variety of different types of artwork across the whole range of mediums, all of which will be captioned with a description and price.

“By the end of this month, we will have 156 pieces of art available under our Angkor Art category and we aim to have 100 artists on board by the end of the year,” Ying says. “There will be popular products such as digital prints as well as acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings. You can also find products created using a variety of other mediums such as Giclee prints as well as painted wood and even skateboards.”

She says that the online exhibition features artworks submitted by local artists who have come on board the Angkor Art movement.

“All of the artworks you see on the platform will have information about the artist, their inspirations and, if you’re interested – a link for you to purchase the physical product,” she says.

According to Ying, the physical exhibition for Angkor Art 2022 is in collaboration with Frasers Hospitality. It will be a meticulously curated collection of artworks by Cambodian artists exhibited at Frasers’ 88-room Capri by Fraser property in Phnom Penh when it opens in October 2022.

Local artists can also set up their own shop or gallery on YouAdMe and then upload as many artworks as they’d like onto their shop with further information about each artwork so fans and potential buyers can understand more about them.

“Potential buyers can browse all the artworks under the Angkor Art category on the YouAdMe platform and click into an artwork to learn more or purchase it,” according to Ying.

She says that the YouAdMe platform acts as a bridge that connects artists with art buyers. The buyer can purchase any product directly from the artist’s shop on the platform.

Though an online art shop is convenient because people don’t have to travel from home, it also has some challenges, not unlike that of other online products for sale.

For example, being online means that there are unlimited options from endless competitors. Also, with artworks they don’t always get a good sense of what its proportions are.

“But we are optimistic—art buyers and collectors these days are getting more digital savvy – so it’s much more common for them to turn to digital channels to explore new art as well as the latest updates from the local arts community,” says Ying.

With an online art shop, she says, there is also the ability to reach an international audience without being bound by a physical space. She feels that it’s inevitable that artists and art houses will have to establish and strengthen their online presence in the future.

“And on YouAdMe, artists are typically in charge of their own shops, so you can connect directly with the artist and chat with them to get to know more about their art.

“Ours is also a trusted platform. We have made establishing credibility and ensuring quality our main activity and goal since YouAdMe’s launch,” Ying says.

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