The National Gallery has chosen peace as the Finnish Metagallery’s theme for 2023. The artworks of the virtual exhibition address this theme from several perspectives. We invite visitors to the exhibition to think about their own perception of peace and the lack of it.
The themes on display that the user can switch to see in the pavilion are:
- Works by 20th century female artists
- Works by 20th century male artists
The voting for the Peace exhibition is now closed. Congratulations for the winner who has been contacted personally. And thank you to everyone who voted!
Finnish National Gallery is a pioneer in the metaverse
The Finnish National Gallery was the first Finnish museum to open an exhibition space in the metaverse in October 2022. The Finnish National Gallery takes its first steps into virtual reality in collaboration with the metaverse platform Decentraland and Sitra. The pilot will gather information on the functioning of the virtual world and increase understanding of the possible means of interaction in the artificial reality built on top of a blockchain. The stage for the experiment is a virtual replica of the Finnish Pavilion at the 1900 Paris World Fair, created in Decentraland. The frescoes painted by Akseli Gallen-Kallela can now be seen again 122 years later.
Metagallery and learning
In addition to an artistic expedition, a field trip to the Finnish Metagallery will provide practical insights into the way the virtual world works and an understanding of the means of interaction in an artificial reality built on top of a blockchain. The tutorial videos below will help you get started on your journey in Decentraland. If you can’t see the videos, please accept all cookies to view them. You can edit your cookie settings at the bottom of the page. You will also find a “Frequently Asked Questions” section below, where you can find answers to many questions and clarification of terminology.
Watch videos about Decentraland
What is metaverse, and how do I visit the Metagallery?
Metaverse is the name given to a variety of 3D virtual worlds built on top of web 3.0. There, users of different platforms can create a character, or avatar, to move around the world, play games, experience art, enter buildings and communicate with other visitors.
The Finnish Metagallery can be accessed via a web browser on a computer, using a virtual reality platform called Decentraland. Decentraland runs on the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain allows users to own parts of the virtual world, build creations in it and trade with each other.
The community, funded by Decentraland DAO and responsible for the Museum District, has donated the virtual plot of land on which the Metagallery has been erected. It is worth noting that running the Metagallery platform requires a lot of performance from your computer.
Here’s how to visit the Metagallery:
- Find Decentraland here.
- Log in as a guest (Play as guest) unless you have a crypto wallet (in which case select Play with wallet).
- Create an avatar for yourself and you will be shown how to move around in Decentraland.
- You will see the Finnish Metagallery in front of you. Inside the pavilion, take part in the voting of the exhibition on the theme of peace by clicking the artwork on the walls and win tickets to the preliminary opening of the Ateneum Art Museum (invitation only event in Helsinki on Thursday, 13 April 2023). Change the exhibition theme, i.e. the works on the walls of the pavilion, from the control panel which is located under the central dome of the pavilion.
By clicking the panel, you can display 5 different themes of the paintings. The other panel under the dome is a guestbook. By clicking the guestbook as a registered user, you can collect a ‘Dove of Peace’ wearable for a limited time.
The Paris World Fair in 1900
The Finnish Metagallery is a virtual replica of the Finnish pavilion built for the 1900 World Fair in Paris, which featured works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Magnus Enckell and Väinö Blomstedt, among others. More than 50 million people visited the World Fair.
The commissioner of the Finland’s department was engineer Robert Runeberg. The pavilion was designed by Armas Lindgren, Herman Gesellius and Eliel Saarinen. The central cupola featured four frescoes on the Kalevala by Gallen-Kallela: Ilmarinen Ploughing the Viper-Field, the Forging of the Sampo, the Defense of the Sampo and Heathendom and Christendom. Also on display were works by Eemil Halonen, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt and Albert Edelfelt.
Metagallery was created by design and innovation studio Adventure Club using open source code. The code is freely available for anyone to use after the Decentraland pavilion closes its doors.
The aim of the project is to delight and inspire all art lovers to discover the metaverse.
All visitors that have registered at the pavilion’s guestbook will receive a virtual wearable ‘Dove of Peace’ for a limited time only! This well known peace symbol is yours to wear on your avatar.
Opportunity to help Ukraine
In addition to works from the Finnish National Gallery’s collection, the Finnish Metagallery features two images from the collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU): Cossack Mamai (1855) by Petro Rybka and Annunciation (1907-1908) by Oleksandr Murashko. These works serve as a reminder that art and culture are also in danger of being destroyed during war. NAMU and Patron-of-Art.com have created a limited number of NFT versions (unique digital versions) of these artworks, in which the proceeds from selling them will be used to support the National Art Museum of Ukraine, e.g. to protect and restore the collection and possibly to strengthen the museum building itself.
Frequently asked questions
The Finnish National Gallery, Decentraland and Sitra are working together to build a unique pilot project for the future online environment, the next generation internet, metaverse.
A digital replica of the Finnish pavilion at the 1900 Paris World Fair has been built in the virtual world. The magnificent Art Nouveau building was once the main attraction of the exhibition and a work of art in itself. The building was only up for seven months, after which it was demolished. Inside the pavilion, a unique artistic experience was revealed to the people in year 1900. Now, 122 years later, the frescoes painted by Akseli Gallen-Kallela can be seen again. Finland’s first World Fair pavilion and its unique art have been brought back to life in a digital virtual world.
The Finnish pavilion has also aroused interest and enthusiasm in the past. The Aalto Media Lab, under the direction of Professor Lily Diaz-Kommonen, has created an impressive 3D model of it, and it can be admired at the Design Museum in Helsinki. Monumentum 1900, a musical about the pavilion, will be performed at the TTT-Theatre in Tampere.
The Finnish National Gallery is taking its first steps in the use of web3 technology, piloting a metaverse with Decentraland and Sitra. Through the pilot, we are learning to understand the possibilities that virtual worlds open up for a cultural operator like us. Our social mission is to promote the visibility, impact and development of cultural heritage. This project will give us more insight into how virtual worlds work. We will be able to see who is interested in virtual art, how different people relate to it and what kind of social activity is developing around virtual art. We know that the experience of culture is social, so it is also important for us to understand what means of interaction exist in the Decentraland built on top of the blockchain and how they can be useful in the future.
You can access the Finnish National Gallery’s pavilion and exhibition at the Paris World Expo via a web browser on your computer. Access the exhibition by logging into the virtual world, then choose a digital avatar to enter the building, move around the space, explore the exhibition and chat with other visitors.
Decentraland is a decentralised virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The Decentraland platform users can create, experience and monetise content and applications.
- You can find Finnish Metagallery at Decentraland. If you don’t have a digital wallet you can sign in as a guest (Continue as guest).
- Create an avatar. You can be creative with the looks. If you signed in as a guest, these changes you make for the avatar will not be saved for the future.
- Your avatar will land next to Finnish Metagallery at Decentraland. You will be guided through the basics. After the guidance you can enter the doors of Finnish Metagallery and start to enjoy the amazing art. Mouse and key control guide is shown when you press C.
- Try to change the art works on the walls by pressing this panel. You can change between 5 different exhibition themes.
- Under the dome, opposite the panel, you will also find another control panel. By clicking it you can collect a Peace Dove wearable for a limited time. Please note that you need to be registered user to collect this wearable. The wearable is sent to your avatar’s backpack later.
The Finnish Metagallery is free for everyone, and you don’t have to pay anything to experience it.
Decentraland DAO’s funder, the community project Museum District, gave the Finnish National Gallery the virtual plot free of charge for use as 10-12 parcels of land on which to build the Paris World Fair pavilion.
Many of the works in the Finnish National Gallery’s collection are already available as images on the National Gallery’s website at kansallisgalleria.fi. More than 26,000 of these images are published under a CC0 licence, which allows anyone to download and use the images on the site as they choose.
In addition, the Finnish National Gallery has an agreement with Kuvasto to use the images of the National Gallery’s collections on platforms managed by the Finnish National Gallery.
Not all. The pilot project aims to explore ways of creating virtual exhibitions and learn how we can use the completely new possibilities opened up by web3, for example, to involve people in the selection of works for art exhibitions or in the preservation of national treasures.
Decentraland makes it easy to block disturbing messages. In the virtual world, it is also possible to change your avatar to another server, so that the people in the same room with you change too.
A non-fungible token (NFT) refers to a digital artwork that has been authenticated using blockchain technology. A digital artwork is unique, or a limited number of versions have been created of it. NFTs enable the creation of collector’s items from easily reproducible digital works.The ownership of the artwork is also authenticated. A token for digital copies.
DAO stands for Decentralized autonomous organization. It is a model for managing the business of blockchain projects that has emerged from the digital blockchain and web3 development revolution. It enables blockchain project founders, developers and token holders to make trusted, decentralised decisions about the blockchain project. DAO founders set the rules for smart contracts and raise funds by selling tokens that give the holder the right to vote on management proposals. A DAO is similar to a limited company or a cooperative – and the tokens can be described, for clarity, as voting shares and a currency to buy digital goods. As a new governance model, a DAO is not yet regulated in Finland and cannot be established in Finland.
The Finnish National Gallery is the national museum of fine arts. Its mission is to maintain and develop national art collections, organise exhibitions and participate in the development of the museum sector. The Finnish National Gallery runs Finland’s most famous and popular museums, the Ateneum Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
Decentraland is a decentralised virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. The Decentraland platform users can create, experience and monetise content and applications. The virtual plot for the project is provided by the Decentraland DAO-funded Museum District.
Sitra is a future fund that collaborates with partners from different sectors to research, trial and implement bold new ideas that shape the future. Our aim is a Finland that succeeds as a pioneer in sustainable well-being.