In the age of digitalisation, contemporary art and pop culture have collided, and a new type of art style 'Crypto Art' has emerged. In only four years since 2017, it has brought tremendous changes to the traditional art industry. NFT (Non-Fungible Token) during the past year (2021) has no doubt turned out to be a world sensation. Therefore, Asia Art Center's 40th anniversary exhibition is its first-ever NFT exhibition OASIS: Going Meta that presents this avant-garde art form to show the breakthrough in art creation as well as its collection, in the hopes of leading people into a whole new world – the Metaverse.
Decentralised art trading platforms have emerged in the West. With the characteristics of rapidity, diversity, and smart security, such platforms have converted art making, art collection, and the exchange of art ideas into online form, bringing art beyond the barriers of country borders. Through the convenience of blockchain transactions and the new definition of the concept of digital assets, the characteristics 'indivisible', 'irreplaceable' and 'unforgettable' express NFT artworks' rarity, and their diverse forms not only provide new channels for the promotion of new media art but also bring more diversity to the traditional transaction model. Blockchain is thus intertwined with the making, display, and transaction of art. In addition, new generations grow up with new technology, and young people have a high degree of acceptance for the use of electronic products, which makes NFT an art form that is easy to matriculate into our everyday lives. NFTs' uses of interactive aesthetics and immersive experience put stress on people's imaginations as the avant-garde of our times. Surprisingly, art is galvanised by the development of NFT so as to jump out of the framework of the logic of the history of art, developing its own approaches that are not based on the legacy of tradition. The form of the art is abandoned as the focus of attention, and instead the impact on the environment, people, and society becomes the main concern. Moreover, the way of seeing and collecting art has changed; the categories of art are thus expanded. The contemporary revolution has reformed our world, and it is very likely that a milestone of art progress will occur in this generation.
Exhibition View of "OASIS: Going Meta"
Isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic, people nowadays spend more time online. A variety of salon-like communities or forums have been launched online. NFT art projects with playful head stickers including features such as 'personification', 'head stickers,' and 'Memes' are widely used in social media, receiving great attention and creating discussion. NFT owners as a result gather together to form communities with like-minded people. Coupled with the use of online platforms, art exhibitions and knowledge exchange can be implemented without restrictions, attracting art makers with different disciplines from around the world. The interaction among artists of different genres and disciplines increases, humanistic thinking changes, and the value of 'encrypted art' is being redefined. In the field of encrypted art, the relationship network has become an indicator for exploring artistic concepts. Different from the traditional concept that focuses on media techniques and conceptual backgrounds, importance is placed on the resonance of creators and their works with the community, the communication of ideas, and the complementary growth of art and technology.
Exhibition View of "OASIS: Going Meta"
In response to the new global art collection trend, in time for the 40th anniversary of the Asia Art Center, the NFT exhibition OASIS: Going Meta has its debut in February 2022. The NFT exhibition is co-organised by Asia Art Center, the renowned blockchain sweeping fund SweeperDAO, and Taiwan's first blockchain investment fund, Red Building Capital. Through the cross-disciplinary approach that experts from both art and blockchain fields are involved in, the exhibition pinpoints the classic projects which have turned out to be milestones in the history of NFT development. This will lead viewers to further explore the changes that NFT has brought to the field of art, what sparks when blockchain technology and art are created together, and how NFT reflects people's values in our times. The exhibition title 'Oasis' comes from the virtual reality game in the movie 'Oasis', which provides unlimited imagination for the world of tomorrow that is fermented by the concept of 'Metaverse'. This exhibition presents 'Profile Picture,' the most iconic project in the history of NFT development, including 'CryptoPunks' and 'Meebits' created by Larva Labs. 'Bored Ape Yacht Club', a total of 56 pieces, and another 105 pieces of 'Mutant Ape Yacht Club', all of which were responded to enthusiastically by collectors from all walks of life, provide their precious collections, making this exhibition the first one to include so many Apes. The exhibition also includes classic NFTs such as 'Ether Rock', 'Doge', and the creations of the well-known digital art creators Pplpleasr, Pussy Riot, Itzel Yard, and Edward Snowden. Furthermore, the exhibition is sponsored by PleasrDAO, which is a collective of early NFT collectors and digital artists who have built a formidable yet benevolent reputation for acquiring culturally significant pieces with a charitable twist. Thus Asia Art Center expects that through physical performances and the use of online virtual space in order to sort out the context of encrypted art development, it can popularise the perspective of the historical process of NFT, leading the audience to further explore the humanistic background of technology.
About the exhibition
Dates: 20 February–13 March 2022
Venue: Asia Art Center, Taipei
Courtesy Asia Art Center.