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The First Ever Emojis To Hang in New York’s Museum Of Modern Arts

By Angelie Cagay , Oct 27, 2016 06:37 PM EDT
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New York's Museum of Modern Art announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the world's first set of 176 emojis developed by Japanese mobile carrier NTT DOCOMO back in the late 1990s.

Emoji are used much like emoticons, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals and our phone and other devices have just become a home to a tiny little collection of latest art.

The emoji we recognize now as the slick, round yellow smiley face was just a primitive line drawing back then, with a little rectangular box for a mouth and two diacritical marks for eyes and original emoji, designed by Shigetaka Kurita, are each made of a grid that is just 12 pixels wide and 12 pixels long.

Emojis remained a mostly Japanese phenomenon until 2010 when they were incorporated into the international computing standard, Unicode. After Apple added an emoji keyboard to its iOS messaging app on iPhones in 2011, the emoji trend took off globally, reported by IBT Times.

Paul Gallowat, Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA) architecture and design collection specialist Wrote, Images and patterns have been incorporated within text since antiquity... When combined with text, these simple images allow for more nuanced intonation. Filling in for body language, emotions, kaomoji and emoji reassert the human in the deeply impersonal, abstract space of electronic communication."

MoMA's acquisition adds the emoji set to a growing collection of digital objects, including the @ symbol and a selection of video games. When MoMA acquired the @ symbol in 2010, Paola Antonelli, the senior curator in the department of architecture and design, called it perhaps "the only truly free" object in MoMA's collection.

The addition of the @ sign "relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary" to the museum, she wrote. It has freed curators to "collect" objects too large to fit within the building (like, say, satellites) and works too ephemeral to hang like a painting (like emoji), according to The New York Times.

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of MoMA's department of architecture and design said" [Emojis] as a concept go back in the centuries to ideograms, hieroglyphics, and other graphic characters, enabling us to draw this beautiful arch that covers all of human history.

Emojis are a part of our lives. Let's embrace that. Life now strongly represents an emerging sense of equality for both the genders, at home or at the workplace, as new emojis are added consistently as it evolves our changing times.

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