For many collectors, one of the thrills of collecting art is to share their works with others. Shanghai-based collector Zheng Hao puts it well when he says that, "to own a private collection is personal joy, to show a private collection is shared joy".

The pleasure may come in varying degrees from a sense of self-actualisation, the social capital attached to status and the sheer joy of sharing treasured pieces with others.

The enormous reach of the internet has offered collectors a wonderful and cost-effective way to share their artworks with a broader audience. Several online platforms are dedicated to showcasing privately owned art. Independent Collectors, a community for collectors of contemporary art, was launched in 2008 to allow its members to exhibit their collections online. It is open to all art collectors and it is free. With the success of social media, it is not surprising to see collectors making use of the photo-sharing application Instagram to show their art.A number of famous collectors, such as Dasha Zhukova, who is married to Roman Abramovich and who founded the Garage Museum in Moscow, have chosen this platform to share their passion. The ability to show, view and also buy art online has largely benefited art by making it more accessible. It remains true, however, that nothing replaces the experience of seeing art in person. On a digital screen, the scale of an artwork can be miscon...

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