A visitor at Art in Island (all photos via Art in Island/Facebook)

Most museums across the US and Europe have had a difficult time handling the selfie onslaught. Like early 20th century art critics snubbing Pablo Picasso, they’ve been banning selfie sticks right and left, while begrudgingly allowing or actively encouraging the taking of selfies.

But thankfully, a few visionaries in the Filipino capital of Manila are being much more open-minded. They’ve launched the world’s first selfie museum, Art in Island, where the point isn’t to look at art — how boring is that? — but to pose for photos with it.

Visitors posing with displays at Art in Island

Visitors posing with displays at Art in Island

“Whenever you visit an art museum, you are always expected to just look around quietly,” the museum’s founders complain on its Facebook page. “You don’t even have a single proof of you being there. That’s why, for those who think that ‘art museum is not for me,’ we bring you ART IN ISLAND.”

Their interactive venue helps jaded museum-goers regain a healthy perspective on art by allowing them to touch, sit on, and climb 3D approximations of paintings like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” With portions of each work slightly altered or left out entirely, the art isn’t even finished until you complete the picture.

Best of all, it takes only two hours to get through the entire museum — a refreshingly short trip compared to the literal days you can spend lost inside the Met without a selfie stick. Art in Island is the perfect museum for the world’s selfie capital.


Visitors at Art in Island (click to enlarge)


Visitors at Art in Island


A visitor at Art in Island


Visitor at Art in Island


Visitor at Art in Island

A visitor at Art in Island

A visitor at Art in Island

Art in Island (175 15th Avenue, Quezon City, Manila) is open Tuesday–Sunday, 9:30am–9:30pm.

Laura C. Mallonee is a Brooklyn-based writer. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from NYU and a B.F.A. in painting from Missouri State University. She enjoys exploring new cities and...

6 replies on “An Art Museum Designed for Taking Selfies”

    1. Um, this IS an authentic new idea though. A fun one, which puts the patron first. It’s sure to be popular 🙂

  1. 1: These are not “selfies”… in fact a photographer must stand at a certain vantage point to take the photo of a posing subject to render the illusion.
    2: This is not the “world’s first”… in fact much of this art has been copied from the Alive Museum in Seoul South Korea ( I visited this museum over 5 months ago and it had been there for quite some time.

  2. why is this being called a museum? or an art museum? that is not a museum, not even art. it is like an amusement park of 3D replicas of art works. no more.

  3. This “museum” fun house appropriates great art, or at least copies of great art to the relational aesthetics mode with an end result that it serves neither the great art nor relational aesthetics

  4. : as a museum scholar and a Filipino, I am quite saddened by the idea that my countrymen equate this fun house with a museum. A museum is a social institution that has it’s own voice and is continuously contributing to the discourse and knowledge creation by means of exhibitions and public programme. There are good quality museums in Manila, our capital (i.e. Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Ayala Museum and National Museum). Yet they still suffer from low visitorship, unlike malls and parks. The abovementioned place can be everything but a museum. It doesn’t add up to the current knowledge and discourse. It does not have a social voice. It does not even have a collection of high cultural value.

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