Museum of Imperfection
The museum of imperfection is established to show the public what are usually disregarded due to their imperfections and to challenge the mainstream obsession with perfection, which people tend to use as standard to define or measure what should praise. We love nicely polished and brand new objects and dispose flawed items because of their imperfection, considering them worthless or useless. We advertise standardized faces with big-eyes, small nose and “V-shape” jaw, setting a beauty standard for people to feel ugly with their natural looks. We are even educated to be “perfect” throughout our life, starting from “perfect students” who work hard and have straight A’s, to have a “perfect resume” to enter a top-tier big brand company with a considerable pay, and later have a “perfect family” with a sweet and stable relationship, a baby, a nice house and a good car. When perfection becomes the standard, imperfection constitutes uniqueness. Thus, the museum of imperfection focuses on what is regarded as imperfect in a traditional sense, whether tangible or intangible.
To be specific, the display items would be of two main categories: object-related and human-related. And the sources of the displays would be professional generated or contributed by ordinary people. For the object-related items, if it is from artist’s hands, it could be art works in a more abstract form to discuss the theme “imperfect” in forms of painting, installations, statues, videos and so on. An example would be a kintsugi china. If it is from ordinary people, it would be an object that although not perfect, but contains special meaning to the owner or has a story behind it. For the human-related professional art pieces, it would be more documentary to discuss the imperfection on a sociological level, such as marginalized people, and non-mainstream aesthetics etc. An example would be Diane Arbus’ photography works on marginalized people and “others whose normality was perceived by the general populace as ugly or surreal.” The pieces contributed by ordinary people would be more on a personal and relationship level to discuss their personal experience and share some intimate thoughts. An example would be the diorama talking about a perfect family that is actually a broken relationship.
As for the setting of the museum, it does not need to be multi-floor. A spacious ground floor would be sufficient. The building of the museum would best fits in an existing architect, such as an old factory or warehouse. It does not need to be repainted but to keep its original interior style with some clean-up work. The coarseness and roughness are exactly the imperfection that is focused on in the museum, without polishing the “ugly” inside to make it look perfect. Moreover, some reconstruction work needs to be done to allow more natural light to come in as the main lightning during daytime. Some warm spotlights would be installed to feature some special displays.
Technique wise, the museum of imperfections would have a mini WeChat programs. It can both serves as the virtual guide for the museum, or an online virtual museum so that audience can appreciate the display without actually coming to the museum. The virtual guide is based on a map of the museum, equipped with GPS so that it be simultaneous with user’s location. It will follow user to enter specific galleries. For the virtual guide mode, users will see the display showing on the map from a bird’s angle, and they can click on each items to learn more about the display without crowding to see the captions. For the virtual museum mode, users will be touring the museum from eye-level. They can control the direction and walk around using their phones, like in the games, and see the museum thoroughly.
Some sample demonstrations: