Hong Kong’s meme museum at the K11 Art Mall has brought internet memes to real life. Hong-Kong-based online platform 9GAG collaborated with the mall to transform the most viral digital jokes into physical art for exhibition. It is the world’s first museum of such kind where users can see these pieces of entertainment preserved in real life.
It is heaven for those who are addicted to scrolling memes on their device. For them, they are not just jokes but often their way of communicating on social media. Memes have become an internet culture which is why a museum was kind of a long time coming.
Meme Museum Collection of Memes
Reportedly the Meme Museum in Hong Kong has showcased more than 100 memes. The users can interact with each one of them and also about their history. The interior theme of the museum is also based on viral memes. There is an interactive room where different fragrances are attached to different memes. Moreover, a tattoo shop can create free water tattoos of any meme user want.
There is also meme-based merchandise to purchase and a dedicated photo booth where users can recreate famous memes with themselves in it. An exclusive board is also installed called “These MEMEs Aren’t Ours” with Hong Kong humor. Meme lovers can easily spend hours over there without any admission fee.
Despite enjoying the illustrious environment, participants would also have the opportunity to win cash prizes up to 100 USD. “A Meme is Born” competition allows them to enter a draw with their original memes. The exhibition can be visited from July 16 to September 15 in K11 Art Mall. Some of the famed memes included in the museum are as follows:
The all-time famous disappointed Pakistani fan meme has made it to the meme museum. The subject of the meme was Sarim Akhtar, a British-Pakistani Risk Manager whose reaction after a cricket became an international meme. During ICC World Cup 2019, Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs which upset poor Sarim and the camera pointed at him at the right moment. The viewers rewarded his faith in the Pakistani team anyway by making him a meme format. Apparently, that made him very happy, and even now he was proud to share that his viral picture has been added to the meme museum.
An overused picture of a boyfriend looking at another woman was an instant classic. Since 2015, it has been a format for thousands of memes due to obvious reasons. The picture showed a man who was distracted by a female passerby while his girlfriend was right by his side. The situation is related to the masses as most men have a shameful history of cheating women. People quickly adopted the meme and used it to represent things they were distracted by. It is one of the most prestigious additions to Hong Kong’s meme museum.
The photographer Antonio Guillem who took this stock image was surprised at the attention it was getting. It was only a part of a project where he and his models wanted to cover the concept of infidelity in relationships. The advertisement work was for microstock agencies that provide stock images on websites.
In 2005, a father and a daughter went to see a controlled burn in their neighborhood of North Carolina, US. The fire was started intentionally to clear the house. While the property was on fire, a 4-year-old Zoe was caught with a deadly smile by her dad David. He instantly clicked her photo which included a cinematic background of a burning structure. The photo was selected for publication in JPG Magazine in 2008 and its popularity has increased ever since. Many people have used this photo to depict a devastating scenario and Zoe’s smile as the reaction of non-respondents. This image had most been synonymous with the situation of Earth while the girl’s reaction has often been attributed to the behavior of world leaders.
The subject of the meme has welcomed all the memes on her image. She admitted that she loved them and the people for keeping her old picture relevant over the years. In April, she sold the NFT of this image for 180 ETH (Ethereum) which is equal to approximately 470,000 USD.
A 2015 song called “Hotline Bling” by Aubrey Graham was a source of many memes. However, one, in particular, became the international standard for users whenever they wanted to approve or disapprove of something in style. The song featured unique dance moves from the rap singer Drake which made the day of internet users. They used two stills from the songs; one where Drake looked like expressing displeasure for something and the other one showed his happy expression. The gestures singer made were actually the dance moves that also signified the themes of memes like this:
Meme museum has also immortalized the image that became more famous than the song itself.
The ultimate representation of a typical internet troll was bound to headline the meme museum. Originally a rage comics character introduced in 2008, quickly went on to feature in one of the funniest memes on the internet today. One night in 2008, Carlos Ramirez was trying to study but found himself scrolling the images on the 4chan website. He posted one of his comic drawings on its video game board before going to sleep. When he woke up, the image was re-posted on several threads. Little did he knew that the weird cartoon face he drew would become a legend on the internet.
Ramirez admitted that the cartoon was not even his best work, it was a bad attempt and he just posted it as a joke. He meant it for those people who make useless arguments with false information and then claim that they were just “trolling”. He said that his drawing represented the expression of such people who use trolling as an excuse for being an idiot.
The viral image of a cute Shiba Inu dog took the internet by storm. Hundreds of sarcastic memes are based on this format. Moreover, a cryptocurrency named Dogecoin is also based on this meme. Just like the meme, Dogecoin was also created to poke fun at major cryptocurrencies that are mostly benefiting the rich only. It has been appearing on the internet since 2013 on various memes. Most of these memes contain intensifying words like “wow”, “such”, “so”, “much”, depicting the user’s sarcasm over something which is being promoted as exciting but it actually isn’t.
Even though the image may have made the masses laughed, it has a rather sad story of origin. The dog named Kabosu belonged to a Japanese teacher, Atsuka Sato who adopted it from the animal shelter in 2008.
She literally saved her from certain death as she was a pedigreed puppy, abandoned by the mill along with 19 other Shiba Inus. Most of them were killed but Kabuso and some others survived due to humans like Atsuko. She just wanted to share some pictures of Kabuso on the internet but got freaked out when western internet users started posting fractured phrases on its picture.
Fans of these digital jokes can find really interesting details about them at the meme museum exhibition.