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Stay in the Know: Art Trends You Should Follow in 2021


Though our lives may have slowed down, the art world has never stopped moving. In the past decade, we celebrated the rise of women artists, African art, “Instagrammable” works, and most recently, virtual art experiences. Then we entered 2021, a year of more uncertainty and change – but also of hope. What does that mean for the arts? Let’s take a look at the next big trends that you should take note of right now.


Immerse Yourself in New Media Art

It’s truly the “it” art of today. For a long time, new media art had been a broad category recognised by few, but 2020 proved to be the year of technological innovation for the creative world: world-class institutions took their shows online; ArtisTree launched the first live-streamed exhibition of French artist Patrick Tresset’s work at the Art Unchained Live Media Art Installation; and over in Amsterdam, Nxt Museum opened as the first new media art museum in the Netherlands. These milestones are shining examples of how this genre of art is finally enjoying the limelight.

Thanks to technologies like robotics, animation, 3D printing and virtual reality, new media artists are able to create immersive (and often IG-worthy) experiences that go beyond passive viewing and transform with each visit. At Nxt Museum, artists, scientists, technologists and musicians teamed up to create futuristic installations that put you at the centre of a multisensory experience – think interactive projections and immersive soundscapes that transport you to other worlds. Many more new media art exhibitions like this are already scheduled for the year (for example, The Lume Indianapolis), so it’s safe to say this innovative art form is ready to welcome an exciting new era.


Soothe Your Heart with Wellness Art

Wellness has been a buzzword for years, but discussions have been focusing more on mental health over the past year. In Hong Kong, studies found that over 70% of respondents showed signs of depression amid the pandemic. And with 93% of countries worldwide experiencing disruptions in mental health services due to lockdown, many are turning to art as self-care. We all know art has the power to move us emotionally and even help combat anxiety. This is why wellness art – artworks that induce a sense of calm and peace, whether it’s a relaxing piece of music or a serene landscape painting – is getting increasingly popular.

You can take the act of viewing art as a mindful practice. At the Manchester Art Gallery, the Mindful Museum has been developed to do just that. With drop-in lunchtime sessions for office workers and workshops on mental wellbeing, the programme allows you to take the time and space you need to relax and appreciate the artworks around you. Meanwhile, many galleries and museums are also hosting virtual tours, making it easier than ever to enjoy art for the purpose of wellness at home. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, consider listening to music or visiting a museum to soothe your heart.


It’s Time to “Green” Up with Sustainable Art

COVID-19, the Australian bushfire, locust swarms in East Africa and India, devastating floods around the world…the undeniable link between climate change and all these natural disasters last year has given us a wake-up call: it’s really time to save our planet.

In the art world, we see a growth of sustainable art, which refers to artworks made using eco-friendly materials or works that raise awareness to environmental issues. Global nonprofit creative studio for social impact Fine Acts, for instance, launched a global art action as part of TED’s Countdown initiative on climate change. To draw attention to key climate issues and inspire people to get involved, they worked with artists across multiple disciplines to create public artworks in ten cities around the world. Many artists are also experimenting with recycled materials to create masterpieces that range from sculptures to Christmas decorations. In these creations, not only can you see the urgency around sustainability, but also a glimmer of hope for change.


Stay tuned to ArtisTree’s Facebook page for the more insights into the latest art trends.


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