Tokyo tattoo artist Ichi Hatano’s usual business has dwindled during the pandemic, but now he wants to tap into a new income stream at first Japan Crypto Art Exhibit Hatano Ink featuring Japanese folk creatures was especially popular with overseas visitors until Japan closed its borders to tourists due to COVID-19
Hatano has now gone digital, selling his designs as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), virtual items that have taken the art world by storm. “It’s great for artists to have a new market, it opens up a lot of possibilities, ”said the 44-year-old, who has five digital artworks for sale at the show, which opened last weekend in Tokyo.
Using the same blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies, NFTs turn everything from artwork to memes into virtual collectibles that cannot be duplicated.They have exploded into the mainstream this year and are now traded in major auction houses, generating several hundred million dollars in transactions each month Although he traded his familiar canvas of human skin for pixels, Hatano said the creative process is the same. “This is the emergence of a new economy, a new way of valuing art,” he said. he told AFP, saying he hoped the technology would allow creators like him to reach a wider audience
His work is one of 150 NFTs by dozens of artists exhibited at the “CrypTokyo” exhibition in the trendy Harajuku district of the Japanese capital. Screens on the walls show a rotating selection of works, of which NFTs can be purchased online with Dai and Ethereum cryptocurrencies for amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to around $ 50,000 Hatano hopes to pocket around $ 1,400 to $ 2,400 for each of his offerings Some of the most expensive works are from Maxim, frontman of British electropunk group The Prodigy and recently converted to NFT art
“Part of everyday existence”
Any digital creation can be marketed virtually as an NFT, allowing artists to monetize digital art by giving buyers unique property rights, even though the work can be reproduced endlessly online. Classic parts of internet culture, from GIFs to home videos, were auctioned off for huge sums In March, US digital artist Beeple became one of the world’s three most valuable living artists when an NFT of one of his works sold for $ 693 million
But in Japan, there is still a way to go before crypto art becomes a mainstay, said Yasumasa Yonehara, 62, artist exhibiting at the show. “NFTs are known in Japan for selling tweets by famous people for astronomical sums, and few know what it really is, “he said. An authenticated version of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet – the very first on social media – was sold in March for $ 2 9 million
Japanese buyers always approach the format with caution, agreed exhibition curator Sascha Bailey, 27 “The problem a lot of people have with NFT art is’ how do I live with it , how do I interact with him in my everyday life? “” Bailey, who heads international sales platform Blockchain Art Exchange, told AFP.
“What we’re trying to do here, at least in the proto-stages, is show how this can be part of your daily existence.” Some of the static works have augmented reality functionality – coming to life when they are views through a smartphone screen – and discussions with artists are also planned during the three-week exhibition French artist Botchy-Botchy, 48, sold his first NFT at the Tokyo show
“The real plus is that the artist receives royalties for each resale of his token,” he said. And in the art industry, “it’s really a novelty” Bailey said he views the Beeple massive sale as “an exception” and believes that greater value lies in the potential of NFTs to spark wider creativity. “Maybe (the Beeple sale) was important to show the traditional art world that it’s a competitive thing… I see crypto art as the most powerful and meaningful when it helps small artists, ”he said – AFP
Cryptocurrency, non-fungible token, Tokyo
Ebene News – EN – Token tattoos at the first crypto art exhibition in Tokyo – Kuwait Times