The strength and potential of NFTs as an art medium will be at the forefront of S.E.A. Focus 2023, the anchor event of Singapore Art Week, in an exhibition powered by pioneering Layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain, Tezos. Running from 6 to 15 January 2023, ‘Living System: An NFT Show’ will showcase collections by six leading artists across Southeast Asia, each distinguished by their own unique styles and disciplines.
The Tezos exhibition made headlines in the 2022 edition of the event as the first showcase powered by a public blockchain to present an Asia-centric NFT collection at S.E.A. Focus during Singapore Art Week. The NFT showcase at S.E.A. Focus 2023 will immerse visitors in an interactive NFT art experience through visual and audio formats, and be able to claim a unique edition of one of the showcased artworks as a digital souvenir.
Curated by Mama Magnet, the dedicated 55m2 exhibition located at the heart of the Tanjong Pagar Distripark, ‘Living System: An NFT Show’ will showcase numerous projected works by leading local and regional artistic talents in the Tezos ecosystem. They include Bjorn Calleja from the Philippines, CwndDien and the late Orkibal from Malaysia, Reza Hasni from Singapore, as well Ykha Amelz and Discokid909 from Indonesia. Tying into ‘a world, anew’, which is the curatorial theme for S.E.A. Focus 2023, ‘Living System: An NFT Show’ portrays an exchange of rituals in a context of shifting paradigms across technology, materials, mental space, and time. The visual language and/or audio of the artists featured sways between human and humanoid, creating self-reflective dialogues about humanity’s Living System — from activity and rest, to the mundane and magic in life’s journeys.
The six artists were commissioned to create three artworks each for this exclusive exhibition and onsite visitors will be gifted an edition of one of the highly coveted pieces. This interactive activation was created in collaboration with akaSwap, an NFT platform built on Tezos, and will be facilitated by the TZ APAC team, who have executed similar best-in-class activations across the region including the recent Tezos exhibitions at Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Moments Jakarta. The NFT will be claimed and stored in a Tezos blockchain wallet that can be created in real time with a few easy clicks.
Participating in ‘Living System: An NFT Show’ provides Filipino contemporary painter and interdisciplinary artist Bjorn Calleja a platform to strengthen his community and identity. “This is a huge opportunity to represent not only my art, but also the communities that I am a part of, such as the Filipino NFT community, Tezos artists, as well as every other part of who I am and what my art represents,” he said. “NFTs as an art medium is transforming itself into a new movement. A lot of Southeast Asian artists are championing the technology of NFTs not only as a means to make a living from making art, but as a way to interact with the world, open relevant issues and dialogues, and represent our heritage, culture, and identity on a global stage.
Singaporean motion artist and illustrator Reza Hasni is equally buoyed by the opportunities NFT as an art medium presents, sharing that “web3 makes things a lot easier and more transparent as smart contracts and royalties are programmed to execute fairly when a piece of art is sold and resold among collectors. This art can quickly be created, bought and sold anywhere in the world. It also opens up exciting dialogues for streamlining how digital art can be used by other non-art industries.”
The adoption of NFTs echoes the optimism shared by the artists. As a region with a large tech-savvy and mobile-first population, 4 out of the top 10 countries in the Global NFT adoption table hail from Southeast Asia.
David Tng, Head of Growth at TZ APAC, said: “Southeast Asian artists are actively embracing NFTs as a medium to share their works on, which have enabled them to reach global audiences, be fairly compensated for their artwork and be positive changemakers for their communities. To have the opportunity to showcase some of the world’s leading talent is at the heart of what the Tezos ecosystem is recognized for. This is in line with S.E.A. Focus’ commitment to advance Southeast Asian art in all mediums including NFTs and propelling it onto the global stage. We look forward to celebrating the spirit of innovation in today’s art space with visitors, who can expect an immersive experience in an exhibition that will showcase the diversity and dynamism of NFTs as a medium for digital art.”
‘Living System: An NFT Show’ aims to connect and empower artists worldwide through blockchain technology, an ethos that is at the heart of the Tezos ecosystem. It’s an activation that follows on from a year of collaborating with leading art events across the world and developing partnerships dedicated to furthering the creative economy. Crypto and Web3 entrepreneur Cordell Broadus recently partnered with the Tezos Foundation to launch the Champ Medici arts fund, a $1 million initiative to support emerging artists across Asia and the world.
In addition to hosting visitors at ‘Living System: An NFT Show,’ the TZ APAC team will be collaborating with S.E.A. Focus to put together two panels that will feature leading experts in the arts community and discuss relevant topics that include building communities in the NFT space and the convergence of artificial intelligence and art. Tezos’ energy-efficient design and low costs for minting and transacting NFTs has attracted a diverse global community of artists, collectors, and builders. With Tezos home to major NFT platforms such as fxhash, akaSwap objkt.com, and Teia.art, more artists are choosing to create on Tezos than ever before. In less than a year, over 1.2 million unique works of generative art have been collected on fxhash alone.