Chameleon Gallery — Winner of $15k in 2018 UP/Start Competition

As artists, Yi-An P‘an ’18 (LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting M.F.A.) and Haoran Chang ’18 (Mount Royal School of Art M.F.A.) say they are constantly thinking about the gap between art making and the art market.

“In art school, artists break the boundary between media and experiment with lots of interesting things,” Chang said. “Yet, they are problematic in the distribution in the market. For instance, how can (artists) sell video art, video installation and multimedia installation pieces?”

To solve this problem, Chang and Pan have created Chameleon Gallery — an online platform that may soon revolutionize the way artists exhibit and sell their work.

The gallery, an Up/Start Venture Competition $15k award winner, will use virtual reality and photogrammetry technology to display contemporary art, including sculptures, paintings, videos and virtual installations. As a result of the displays, collectors and art enthusiasts from around the world will have a convenient way to experience and purchase art, while artists will have more opportunities to reach international audiences.

“Chameleon Gallery is a combination between the traditional gallery simulating the experience of looking at art and an online selling platform, which is convenient and breaks the boundary of time and space,” Chang said. “By displaying art pieces that are digitalized by photogrammetry technology from physical ones within a 3D virtual environment, it creates an immersive experience for collectors and viewers.”

Users can view each virtual exhibition for free for three months. Paid memberships will give users access to all past exhibitions. The gallery will also sell art catalogues and 3D printed replicas of original artwork as revenue streams.

“We think that this project is not only a business that can make money, but also a project that can really help artists to connect with the collectors and the world,” Chang said.

In addition, Chang said he looks forward to the gallery connecting art markets in the United States and China, where he was born.

Chang and Pan will use their prize money to purchase equipment, hire staff and release more virtual exhibitions.