Bringing artwork into digital space

Friday, 2021-06-11 15:28:41
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The "Cong Troi” (Sky Gate) project offers artworks by Vietnamese artists as NFTs (non-fungible item) at https://congtroi.org (Still photo taken from the website).
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NDO - In order to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the public and contribute to exploiting the potential of various art forms, a group of artists, cultural experts and technology engineers have collaborated to implement the project "Sky Gate" which provides a platform to confirm and transfer the digital ownership of artwork. After the launch ceremonies in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the project received the attention and cooperation of many artists and art lovers.

"Sky Gate" started with fine art and photography. The project aims at the more long-term goal of bringing music, literature, cinema, and theater into the digital world. The project uses NFT (Non-Fungible Token) technology to digitize artworks with unique authenticity and ownership, co-existing alongside the original work.

NFT appeared since 2017 and became gradually more popular in the world. Nearly 60 art NFT floors were born, successfully conducting auction transactions in the millions of dollars for paintings and photos. "Sky Gate" is the first NFT art trading floor in Vietnam which has the functions of an online gallery and allows buying and selling of pieces.

An artwork featured on "Sky Gate" can be by a well-known professional artist, or by an amateur author, but all must go through a rigorous review process by a reputable curatorial panel, including painters Pham An Hai and Pham Binh Chuong (founder and moderator of the Viet Art Now art forum). Viet Art Now is an active community that gathers together a large number of famous artists and the public who love Vietnamese fine art. It is also an important partner of "Sky Gate".

Professor, Dr, Sculptor Nguyen Xuan Tien, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association expressed his support for putting artworks on a digital platform. "The Covid-19 pandemic is currently and will continue to greatly limit the organisation of exhibitions and live performance. The "Sky Gate" project adds a suitable communication channel for artists, while saving time, costs, and bringing greater efficiency in promoting the work", he said.

In the first trading session, "Sky Gate" successfully sold 21 works. After one-month of official operation, the project is continuously adding new works, mainly paintings, photography, and most recently, the first NFT music product released on May 29, in cooperation with the Ravolution Music Festival brand. For art, NFT technology has been proven to bring many advantages such as: uniqueness that cannot be affected by the environment or humans, infinite and permanent storage and simple and convenient transaction methods, reaching many viewers.

In particular, with NFT data, it cannot be easily copied or downloaded, that contributes to the copyright protection for authors and works in the digital environment. In addition, NFT artworks can form a data warehouse to be compatible with virtual reality applications (such as VRhome, or Oculus) to help owners build digital collections at a relatively low cost.

In fact, the trend of digitization has taken place across all fields of life; including art. In the context of the complicated development of COVID-19 pandemic, NFT technology has great potential to continue to develop, helping artists connect with the public and earn more income from their works.

According to statistics, in the field of fine arts alone, the Vietnam Fine Arts Association has nearly 2,000 members, the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association has nearly 700 members. Each artist owns an average of hundreds of works, if the total number of works of professional artists nationwide is calculated, the demand for displaying and offering these for sale is huge.

"Sky Gate" is expected to be a popular, modern and transparent transaction channel, helping to add value to artworks, besides the classic transaction method. Of course, works of art outside the digital space always have an irreplaceable enjoyment value for art lovers and traditional collectors. But with their participation in the "Sky Gate" project, artists, photographers, and music producers have one more safe way to bring their art products to the audience anywhere, at any time.

For intangible artworks (such as songs, movies), normally, fans can preserve moments and emotions by asking for artist's autographs, taking photos together, while "Sky Gate" can provide a new way, such as using NFT technology to separately encrypt an excerpt of the work with the digital signature of the performing artist.

With the desire to build a strong NFT community, the project management team said that in a short time, it will digitize about 50,000 paintings for introduction and trade, while at the same time expanding the scope on all other areas of fine arts such as sculpture, art installations, and graphics.

"Sky Gate" is also strengthening its coordination with the Ho Chi Minh CityFine Arts Association, the IDECAF Institute, the Recording Industry Association of Vietnam and many great collectors or heirs of expensive art works, to implement the process of digitizing and preserving the valuable art works of Vietnam, including those from famous names such as Le Pho and To Ngoc Van. Along with that, there are rich artistic activities such as a digital drawing contest and a community project named the "Sounds of painting", to support hearing-impaired artists.

HAI LAM