The Emoji Art & Design Show surveys the spread of emoji through popular culture with an art exhibition and Emoji Pop-Up Market.
In today’s visually oriented culture, which increasingly communicates through images rather than text, emoji comprise a kind of “visual vernacular,” a language that conveys humor, ambiguity and personality as well as meaning.
This visual form of communication isn’t necessarily new—from cave paintings, to hieroglyphics, to religious and mythological symbols encoded in traditional painting and sculpture, we’ve been communicating through images since the dawn of mankind—but its dominance in culture today, especially among millennials, seems to indicate a greater shift in our approach to self-expression.
An examination of the emoji zeitgeist, The Emoji Art & Design Show features works of art and design selected through an open call. The works presented cover a wide range of mediums from digital prints, sculptures, video and performance art, tackling themes such as emotional ambiguity, symbology, and visual communication. Works in the show explore ideas rooted in both pop and visual culture—appropriating and inserting emoji into the art history cannon, hypnotic moving images, emoji photo apps, inherent translation difficulties, and a desire for more emoji characters are represented in this exhibition.