Virtual Exhibitions

VOMA, The First Online Museum Without A Nationality

In times where a global pandemic prevents us from checking out our favourite artists in the offline world, creatives need to get creative and think of new, innovative ways to display artworks.

An art-platform that can be accessed anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet-connection, is VOMA. VOMA is short for virtual online museum of art.The director, Lee Cavaliere, states that this is the time to re-examine what a museum is. VOMA offers the audience a chance to cooperate with the museum. They can let their voice be heard through interacting with art.

The virtual space VOMA was constructed from scratch by artist Stuart Semple. The museum opened its virtual doors in the beginning of August and consists of an indoor gallery as well as an outdoor space. The environment is peaceful and quiet and, with a bit of imagination,you can find yourself to be in a different world for a while. Attention has been paid to details; background noises and a gift shop have been included.

Semple stated that: “A virtual viewing room can feel like a lonely place – quiet, empty, sometimes slightly uneasy. In building and curating VOMA, we wanted to get away from that feeling, which is not all that different from walking into a snooty, silent gallery space and feeling a bit self-conscious. We wanted to integrate the sense of community and buzz of going to a cool museum, where there are often so many different shows going on, and immersive or interactive experiences.” The interactive aspect makes VOMA very special, as it allows for growth through constant feedback and input from visitors.

An important goal of VOMA is to look at cultural history as well as the ongoing action of decolonisation. In the past as well as the present, art could have been considered as homogeneous and limited to geographic locations or points of view.

VOMA aims to defy this homogeneity, by encouraging the discussion of all world views through art. A quote that captures this perfectly is ‘the best art is not made out of happiness’, because art has been a tool to oppress and repress.

We can learn from our past by studying art, hence why VOMA aims to shed light on unspoken historical truths. Its’ purpose is to allow for a better future. Furthermore, a big advantage of an online museum is the ability to provide additional information and sources concerning the artworks. It invites the visitor to learn more about a certain artwork and the context it was created in.

A key characteristic of VOMA is that it has no nationality. As an online platform it is located nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

This enables the museum to be adaptable and flexible. Another fun aspect is that the lightning changes during the day and night, which makes the place feel more alive.

Now what is left to do for me is to motivate you to check out the amazing artworks that are provided by some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. These include the Whitney Museum of American Art, Musée d’Orsay and the Museum of Modern Art of New York. VOMA is inclusive, because it can be accessed by all kinds of people, regardless of age, disabilities, time constraints or income. There are no excuses left to learn more about our past and establish a better future.


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