What is the future of art? If you ask George Galanakis, the founder and creative director of Crypto Art Week Asia (CAWA), he might tell you that as with many other things, the art world is heading towards a radical, digital future. While ‘Crypto art’ (along with ‘NFT’) is a term that has entered our collective consciousness only recently, it has quickly dominated conversations about what the next big thing in the art economy is going to be.
It was only in March that an art auction house first offered a digital artwork for purchase as an NFT—as did it accept cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. Crypto-artist Beeple’s Everydays was purchased by Singapore-based collector Metakovan for a whopping US$69 million. Instantly, NFTs became a thing of note in the art world.
“CAWA aims to blanket this virtual space with Asian art, putting it in front of a global audience of collectors and fans”
“CAWA was founded to give artists in Asia global visibility and to strengthen and grow the arts community in Asia,” says Galanakis. “Art on the blockchain has seen an explosion in the past few months. CAWA aims to blanket this virtual space with Asian art, putting it in front of a global audience of collectors and fans. NFTs have enabled an explosion of creativity not before seen in history, changing lives and injecting much needed cultural boom into our digital spaces.”
As the world’s biggest NFT showcase to date, CAWA features over 300 of Asia’s most eminent names in crypto art from 19 countries. Running till 17 July, the event will feature over 50 participating galleries, a stellar line-up of speakers (including Metakovan), online seminars, live exhibitions and Q&As. While some exhibitions will be held in person, others can be viewed virtually on the Metaverse, a shared, interactive virtual 3D space where users can present themselves as avatars.
If you are looking for a place to start, here are Galanakis’s picks of must-see events this week, ranging from a talk on the future of digital fashion by Vogue Singapore publisher Bettina von Schlippe, to the massive virtual experimental art rave planned for the last day of the festival.
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Q&A with Metakovan
When Vignesh Sundaresan (better known as Metakovan) bought Beeple’s NFT Everydays for over $69 million earlier this year, he made history. Galanakis shares: “Metakovan is now the most famous collector in the world and a really deep thinker about the art space.” Hosted by Abasa Phillips from Tokyo, watch Sundaresan open up about everything from how the NFT industry can empower artists to adding diversity to the art world.
Watch the conversation online.
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Pplpleasr: Ask me anything
Multidisciplinary artist Pplpleasr is one of the most prominent voices in the crypto art space today. Having created visual effects for films like Wonder Woman, Batman vs Superman, and Star Trek Beyond, she is known for her unique style influenced by animated films, the underground music scene, video games, and traditional Chinese and Japanese art. In this special AMA hosted on Discord, look forward to asking her all the questions you have always wanted answered.
Find details on the AMA on cryptoartweekasia.com.
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Digital Fashion: Wearing the future
This panel is helmed by some of the most important voices in fashion today, from Vogue Singapore publisher Bettina von Schlippe to Daria Shapovalova, the founder of digital fashion start-up DressX. Expect a deep dive into the future of fashion, with Fabricant founder Kerry Murphy joining in the mix.
Watch the conversation online.
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UltraSuperNewGallery: Sevi Agregado
One unmissable gallery to check out is UltraSuperNew—an experimental spot tucked away in Tyrwhitt Road that curates and brings together creatives from all backgrounds to ignite discovery, imagination, and conversation. Among the gallery’s featured artists is 8-year-old Sevi Agregado from the Philippines. Diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, Agregado found his love for art in art therapy classes. In 2021, he became a crypto artist, and has since sold his NFTs to collectors from Asia, North America and Europe.
Check out Agregado’s work at UltraSuperNew.
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If you have been missing the feel of nightlife due to COVID-19 restrictions, look forward to CAWA’s closing party—what Galanakis describes as an “experimental virtual rave”. Expect live performances from DJs, bands, bubble blowers, poets and more. On the same day, don’t forget to check out the one-off CAWA crypto art auction to end off the festival.
Find details on Ultramegaverse on cryptoartweekasia.com.