Creation products of museums are IN now.
Where is the most crowed area in a museum? Is it the place in front of Mona Lisa, Starry Night, Water Lilies, or Jadeite Cabbage? Perhaps not. There is a room that most visitors would not forget to go and take a look – gift shop. To be honest, I would not concern about this issue, until I found a box of salt and pepper shakers, which is from National Palace Museum Taiwan(NPMT), from the shop of a cafe. Surprisingly, I never thought about this kind of creation products would be seen here, a place where far from NPMT, because mostly gifts from museums are no more than postcards, exhibition books and replicas. People only buy them when they visit museums or galleries. Additionally, this gift which out of museum reminds me a popular phenomenon of crazy for products from NPMT two years ago. In 2012, one day I found out my Facebook wall was full of this photo – paper tape in handwriting of Kangxi Emperor, which means ‘I (as a emperor) know’. The handwriting is from one of memorial exhibition of Emperors, who always need to read and reply documents from central and local officers. This is interesting that if someone own it, he or she can use it on documents or everywhere to make fun of being a emperor.
Paper Tape – Reflected Brush and Ink of Kangxi Emperor
Since this tape on sale, it immediately sold out on official website and in gift shop. That is the reason why almost every friends of mine were posting this as a news that NPMT was going to pre-order at that time. That is amazing because I never seen a creation product could be that popular, especially out of the museum. Before that, the most popular gift was Jadeite Cabbage replicas, and visitors were only interested when they saw the collection and products related. This tape, however, allows me to see the power of social media, and how to transform a historical relic to a modern culture creation. The former is the way that how most popular issues are created now. For example, I am quite sure that my friends on Facebook are not visiting NPMT more than once a year. Nevertheless, how do they (and I ) knew about this product in the situation that NPMT did not advertise at all? Through social media! We are now living in a world that people show and share through social media. Once people around find anything interesting, they post a photo of it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and wish to cause discussion among friends, or even in public. That is the way I knew about this tape, not by visiting museum, but from Facebook. In 2012, NPMT gift shop has signed up a fan page for communication with fans of them. It is obviously clever for them choosing social media as a relatively free method to market their products rather than inject budget on advertising.
Paper Tape of several exhibition in National Palace Museum Taiwan
Post Card: Imperial Edict & Confidential Letter
iPhone Stand and Amplifier
Neck Pillow – Drop-horse knot
The latter is in nowadays, not only in NPMT, but also in other museums around the world. Take Van Gogh Museum as an example. I am impressed of two products of them, one is sandwich bike, and the other is wall decoration. As you can see below, this is the bike that seems customers can build it themselves with arts of Van Gogh. Even though I am not a big fan of biking, it is impressing that this product is a combination of two national treasures of Netherlands – Van Gogh and cycling. In terms of wall decoration, it is a contemporary way to transform exhibition to life style. Whether you are a fan of Van Gogh or not, there are several art collection offering for customers to choose, and they even provide customised design. Now I can not wait to customised my own wall!