Informal Economy

First virtual exhibition supports income for artists

A 24-hour virtual exhibition titled “Winds of Change – Cagi ni Veisau” enabled fifty visual artists from around Fiji to promote and sell their art online.

Project documentation | 19 October 2021
Organized by the Viti Association of Visual Arts (VAVA), the exhibition had an eclectic mix of internationally-established artists as well as new comers.

“Our aim is to promote professional interest, visibility and welfare of visual artists while increasing opportunities for those who rely on the arts sector for their livelihoods”, said VAVA Chairperson, Mr Irami Buli.

Facebook was used as the platform of choice to run the 24-hour virtual exhibition. All art work was posted on the VAVA facebook page, together by the artists contact details. This strategy also provided an opportunity for interested buyers to interact with the local artists.

Methods of payment ranged from in-person cash purchases, on-line banking transfers to the use of mobile phone app gateways such as Vodfone’s M-PAiSA and Digicel’s MyCash. Reports from VAVA indicate that a total of FJD $18,000 was earned by the artist in the 24 hours.

VAVA was reinvigorated this year through the support of the ILO, UNESCO and SPC via the UN Informal Economies Recovery Project. Technical assistance is being provided to VAVA to formally register as an association.