The Original Emoji Set Has Been Added to The Museum of Modern Art’s Collection

Art Announcement from United States. Published by MOMA on Thursday 20 October 2016.

The Original Emoji Set Has Been Added to The Museum of Modern Art’s Collection image

The Museum of Modern Art announces the addition of the original set of 176 emoji to the MoMA collection. A gift of the Japanese national carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, NTT DOCOMO, the original emoji were developed under the supervision of Shigetaka Kurita, a member of the i-mode development team, and released for cell phones in 1999.

These 12 × 12 pixel humble masterpieces of design planted the seeds for the explosive growth of a new visual language.

Kurita’s emoji (picture characters) were instantly successful and copied by rival companies in Japan. Twelve years later, when a far larger set was released for Apple’s iPhone, emoji burst into a new form of global digital communication.