From tattoos to tokens at Tokyo’s first crypto art show

Tokyo: Tokyo tattoo artist Ichi Hatano, who had lost his normal business during the pandemic, is now ready to discover new revenue streams at Japan’s first cryptographic art exhibition.

Hatano ink, made from popular Japanese creatures, was especially popular with foreign tourists until Japan closed the tourist border with COVID-19. Hatano is currently digitizing and selling its designs as non-consumable (NFT) tokens. It is a virtual object that has ravaged the art world.

“It’s great for artists to have a new market, which opens up a lot of possibilities,” said a 44-year-old who sells five digital works of art at an exhibition in Tokyo last weekend. ..

Hatano Ichi currently offers his popular Japanese tattoos as a digital work protected by AFP / Philip FONG blockchain technology

NFT uses the same blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies to transform meme illustrations into un duplicated virtual collector’s items.

This year they have skyrocketed today and are listed on major auction houses, generating hundreds of millions of dollars each month.

Despite replacing the familiar human skin canvas with pixels, Hatano said the creative process was the same.

“This is the emergence of a new economy and a new way of evaluating art,” he told AFP, hoping this technology would allow creators like him to reach more people. Dit.

Hatano wants to get about $ 1,400-2,400 for a digital version of his famous Japanese folk art tattoo at CrypTokyo AFP / Philip FONG.

His work is one of 150 NFTs from dozens of artists on display at the “Cryp Tokyo” exhibition in the fashionable Harajuku district of Japan’s capital.

The wall screen shows a selection of rotation jobs. NFT can be purchased online using Dai and Ethereum cryptocurrencies, which range from hundreds of dollars to about $ 50,000. Hatano wants to get between $ 1,400 and $ 2,400 for each product.

Some of the most expensive works are by Maxim, a leader of the British electropunk group The Prodigy, who recently converted to NFT art.

“Part of everyday life”

Virtually any digital work can be marketed as NFT and artists can earn revenue with digital art by giving buyers the right to brag about their own ownership, even if they can copy their work online non-stop.

The classic parts of Internet culture, from GIFs to home videos, have been auctioned off for huge sums. In March, American digital artist Beeple became one of the three most valuable living artists in the world when one of his works, the NFT, sold for US $ 69.3 million.

However, in Japan, there is still a long way to go before crypto art becomes the mainstay, said 62-year-old Yasumasa Yonehara, an artist exhibiting at the show.

“NFTs are known in Japan to sell celebrity tweets for astronomical quantities, and few people know what that really is,” he said.

Artist Yasumasa Yonehara, along with CrypTokyo organizers, said Japan is slow to accept the art of cryptography.

Artist Yasumasa Yonehara said CrypTokyo organizers want to cancel some of their skepticism about NFT AFP / Philip FONG, and that Japan is slow to accept cryptoart.

A certified version of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet (first on a social network) sold for US $ 2.9 million in March.

Japanese buyers are still cautiously approaching the format, agreed with 27-year-old curator Sascha Bailey.

“The problem a lot of people have with NFT art is‘ how to live with it and how to interact with it in everyday life, ’” said Bailey, who runs the blockchain art exchange on the international sales platform. Dit a.

“What we’re trying to do here, at least at the protostage, is show how this can be a part of your daily life.”

Some of the digital works featured in CrypTokyo have augmented reality features that are vivid in sight.

Some of the digital works introduced in CrypTokyo have augmented reality features and are animated when viewed on the AFP / Philip FONG smartphone screen.

Some static works have augmented reality features that are vivid when viewed on a smartphone screen, and conversations with artists are planned for the three-week exhibition.

French artist Botchy-Botchy, 48, sold his first NFT at a show in Tokyo.

“The real advantage is that the artist earns royalties for every tile resale,” he said. And in the art industry, “it’s really new.”

Bailey said he sees large-scale beeple sales as an “exception” and sees great value in the potential of NFTs to stimulate a wider range of creativity.

“Perhaps (the sale of beeple) was important to show the mainstream art world that it was competitive … cryptoart is the most powerful and meaningful when it helps small artists. I think there are,” he said. .

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