Boston Globe's Cate McQuaid talks to LaiSun Keane and some Augmented Reality

This week I caught up with Cate McQuaid of The Boston Globe to talk about starting an art gallery in the times of Coronavirus.

Starting this gallery as I have ruminated in my first blog, was just something natural to me. I adopted to technology quickly as I have worked in the tech field prior to joining the art world. For those who don’t know me, I worked in the tech industry before going back to (Art) school to complete a degree in Art Theory at University of New South Wales which I obtained while raising a young family. So, I knew immediately when physical access to gallery space became impossible, I started my gallery online and I seized the opportunity to carve a niche in this competitive and often volatile art market.

And yes, technology is key to this new world, but what technology and how far does a new business need to go to really help people view and experience art when they just can’t visit in person? Cate and I talked about some of the approaches that galleries are trying – including Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as well as what web and social media really can do for everybody and we both felt that one needs to be careful with how the tech works. For example VR and 3D – whilst its being used by a few galleries and even was featured in the Frieze NY with the ability to place flat paintings into a room – was still a work in progress that is just too hard to use and doesn’t really come close to the experience that art lovers need.

But what about Augmented Reality? Certainly, there is an argument that for ceramics and other more physically dynamic art forms AR could really help to allow a piece to be ‘placed’ in a room or viewed in detail.

So – guess what – we created a sample. A model of an incense case created by Japanese artist, Mihara Ken (b.1958)

The video here shows how lifelike an AR model can be.

By the way you can learn more about the real artwork here –

Please post in the comments below how you found the AR experience and if you think AR – or even VR/3D is in the future for connecting art and us all in a new way.

So, as population in some parts of the world start to have their economies open up and people are now able – within some strict limits – to move around and even travel, it will be interesting to see the long-term changes that come from the pandemic. Whilst we send our hopes and prayers to all those impacted by COVID-19 at the same time we all must stay together and be prepared to create and experience the amazing changes and new technologies we can use to create our new world.

For those interested you can check out Cate’s article on the Boston Globe here.

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