In the IoT, one can get truly lost in the myriad of web paraphernalia that lives in the world wide web, and recently with the development of Web3, the disorientation of what we initially searched for would’ve just dissipated back into those empty spaces within your frontal lobe. We have decided to burrow into the world of NFTs that sit in the metaverse, to give you 15 (plus a bonus at the end) NFTs that are fueling the game in Asia.
We’ve virtually travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Korea, India, China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam for a simmered condensed version of what these projects have to offer. From artists, musicians, games and photographers, our list encompasses a range of talented individuals making waves within the NFT space. Each of these selected projects has its own flair that has contributed to the creative space-time continuum that has jumped into a global marketplace which in turn has provided unimaginable success and profits for some.
As Twitter and Discord populate itself with NFT projects that touch higher than an average birth rate for a small country on a daily basis, the influx of information is almost borderline daunting — so if you’re looking for a shortcut of what Asia has to offer, excavate into our list of artists that are going to the moon with the NFT game in the region.
Malaysia ART: Red Hong Yi
Featured on the cover of Time magazine’s April 2021 issue to raise awareness for climate change with matchsticks, Red Hong Yi from Malaysia is notably one of the top NFT artists from Malaysia. Her aesthetic as an artist focuses on everyday items such as eggshells, teabags, copper plates, socks, salt and more to create installations that have a bigger meaning behind her work, prompting questions about failing financial systems, climate change, gender, race and heritage. She has now moved within the metaverse continuing her physical and digital pieces that include Doge To The Moon which was sold at 36.3 ETH and a Memebank NFT series that was also turned into an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
Hong Kong PHOTOGRAPHY: Derry Ainsworth
Based in the bright neon lights of Hong Kong, Derry Ainsworth’s photographic eye has brought a buzzing life to the cityscapes in Asia while capturing the heart and soul of the people, architecture and lifestyles that has now found a space in the digital realm as NFTs. Honing his place in the metaverse, Derry is also the Director of Blank Media HK and the Creative Director of Digital Art Fair Asia in Hong Kong, a physical space that features NFTs and immersive art experiences. His current NFT artworks sit in three different marketplaces: Foundation, Refinable and Openseas with four different collections that even comes with prints that range from 0.4 ETH to 4 ETH.
Thailand ART: Satit Tang (Thailand)
A recognizable piece of art is always something that will pop out at you when your eyes gear towards it more so than usual and Satit Tang from Thailand has truly woken us from our slumber with his unique design aesthetics. These NFTs were recently minted on Foundation with 4 unique NFTs that includes tracks that we’re all about. He includes small details of clever nuanced Asian references pieces that include a club atmosphere, vinyl, neon signs, fortune teller, Chinese lettering, fashion, lanterns... (we could go on). You’ll have to just press play on these to see why Satit Tang was one to not miss on our list.
Japan PFP COLLECTABLES: Takashi Murakami
It’s no big surprise that this name has popped up within our radar since Takashi Murakami has accomplished all things hype and beyond, and coming into the NFT space was just the natural progression of things. Since 2021, Murakami has released two PFP collections: the first series of 108 variations showcases his signature flowers in 24 x 24 pixels which he is currently revamping as the Murakami.Flower collection with 12 avatars that was already released in February and the remaining at the end of this year. However, last year he also released an unusually large number of PFPs — 20,000 variations of generative NFTs through a partnership with RTFKT titled Clone X. This collection started off with a mint price of 3 ETH and raked in a trading value of $90.5 million with over 8,000 owners. This month itself, CloneX #4594 a rare variation was sold at 450 ETH ($1.25 million).
Singapore ART: Shavonne Wong
Putting Singapore on the map for NFTs, Shavonne Wong has accomplished monumental success within the sphere by making Vogue history with their first NFT cover, which includes two digital covers for the 130-year old magazine which just landed in Singapore. Shavonne’s initial passions and career path had led her into a world of photography and like any creative shifting their gears during the pandemic, she dived into the works of 3D and AR NFTs. Today, she has released a few collections and most recently, her cyber realistic models featured in the Love is Love series has made their way to Idris Elba’s virtual wallet — making it the first NFT purchase for the Hollywood star. A cute addition Shavonne has included in this series is the cost of each mint, 0.05683 ETH which spells out love when typing 5683 on an old school phone.
Hong Kong PFP COLLECTABLES: Edison Chen
No stranger to the entertainment world, Edison Chen has jumped on to the NFT bandwagon along with the sea of celebrities in his recent release titled ‘Red NVLPE’ that dropped during the Lunar New Year. The collection encompasses 8,888 pieces with a mint price of 0.1888 ETH and honours the red envelopes that are known in Chinese culture as the hongbao (红包). ‘Red NVLPE’ was not just a solo venture, it included eight other creative visions such as an LA-based tattoo artist Dr Woo, CLOT, ALIENEGRA X EDC, James Fauntleroy and more. In true Edison Chen style with no big surprise, the avatar series was sold for a whooping US$5mil with secondary sales of over 10 times its original value.
South Korea ART: Mr.Misang
Staging on the top of the Korean forefront in the metaverse, Mr.Misang (Ju Yong Lee) has reached international recognition within the NFT sphere as he hits on one of the highest-ranking artists on the marketplace SuperRare back in 2021, raking in 1.5 million dollars at that time. His artwork drifts around consumerism and the contemporary life behind the eyes of everyday Koreans in society — these NFTs are his storytelling platform. An interesting approach that Mr.Misang has encapsulated is that he drops his collections one at a time, an optimal strategy in gaining higher prices as it ensues FOMO to his buyers. His collections Modern Life Is Rubbish, Modern Life is Theme Park and Masked Workers all have an overarching dystopian world aura that has now evolved into GhostsProject, a PFP collection featuring 10,000 avatars.
India ART: Siraj
A fairly new but growing NFT heartbeat in India has created a niche market within the country. A computer engineer, Siraj Hassan from Chennai has thrived in the crypto space with his Caged collection of 27 dreamlike glass bell NFTs. Each of these 3D animation artworks represents interesting concepts of mental health, loneliness, life, earth, future and more wrapped up in a modernistic ethereal aesthetic. This conscious view of crypto buyers according to Siraj are “forward-thinking individuals” that lean towards sci-fi and hyper-luminous works — hence his art direction.
Japan MUSIC: Shinichi Osawa
Changing the way music is made and created, Shinichi Osawa pairs up with KLKTN (Kollektion) to produce the very first NFT audio stem player called SMPLR as part of a collectable series that combines music and visual arts. An ode to the celebration of Mondo Grosso’s (Shinichi Osawa’s acid jazz band) 30th-anniversary album, he creates a fun aspect to what the metaverse can offer — a series of 21ArtKards that unlocks the full track ‘Everything Needs Luv’. Each ArtKard holds a stem from the song and gives fans an interactive experience and possibly making it their own.
Thailand PFP COLLECTABLES: sorryvrerror
Along with most things when it starts out, one can say the NFT space is mainly male-dominated. In an effort to curb this underrepresentation, female artist sorryvrerror who hails from Thailand creates female based PFP collectables that are titled Faceless Portraits which aim to be anyone in the world that lives behind a mask of idiosyncrasies that makes us who we are as women. This collection of 444 PFPs is based on an equitable drop system, within a small five-piece batch with low gas fees and an insanely affordable price structure of 0.013-0.015ETH. A true testament to a project not having hype but growing through a grassroots community organically.
China ART: Curry Sicong Tian
Stepping into a portal of East meets West is Curry Tian’s diaspora of influences that seeps into her NFT collections. Born and raised in China, Curry wears many hats as a director, filmmaker, graphic designer and more. Her Chinese based philosophy coexists within cultural differences that use nuances from an entity that’s derived like it’s from a different realm — a definite scroll stopper. Her NFTs are more than just art, they focus more on an alternative storytelling perspective within the framework of videos and sit in the exclusive marketplace SuperRare.
Indonesia MUSIC/ART: Ecilo & Tri Satria
Indonesia’s team UNDERRADAR hasn’t flown under our radar that’s for sure. The team has continuously produced stellar content over the past few months and their newest venture in the NFT space is brewing. Multi-faceted techno producer and DJ, Ecilo, has collaborated with digital artist Tri Satria aka STUDIOFLAMES for their latest venture in the NFT space titled Wasteland that will be released in a few day's time via the Solana platform. This collection showcases a world of chaos and sci-fi that is set after a global nuclear war in 2172 with severe radiation that has affected humans, animals and the environment. In true musical fashion, the NFTs will be paired with Ecilo’s EP release that is due to launch in April of this year with exclusive offers — stay tuned on our page for more.
Singapore PFP COLLECTABLES/GAMES: Billionaire Zombie Club
When it comes to virality, Singapore’s own Billionaire Zombie Club has got this in the bag. From humble beginnings of an immigration officer to now dropping a collection of 10,000 PFPs that have raked in 630 ETH as their traded volume and is estimated to be worth $20 million. Sitting on the sustainable platform, Polygon, the collectables include a roadmap that includes tokenomics, a DAO governance model, a gaming ecosystem and more. To date, BZC has now extended itself to include other collections such as Skeleton Kings and MetaCrystals that has been exposed to international eyes across numerous global publications and even the big screens in Times Square NYC.
Philippines PHOTOGRAPHY: Jhoko
Taking it to the streets in Asia, Filipino photographer Jhoko Bernardo sparks our personal interest with his cyberpunk and futuristic spark. A filtered starry-eyed series of the Asian cities we miss and are all too familiar with — let’s just say it's a total Mixmag Asia vibe and we can’t get enough of it. His collection of 50 one of one NFTs titled Metropholia was just minted a few days ago with a price of 0.05 ETH and each of these includes a card ownership animation. The series focuses on his memories during a time when travel was not something we needed to second guess. We’re excited to see where this collection will head in the upcoming weeks.
Vietnam GAME: Axie Infinity
A shift in the sphere of NFTs comes from a Vietnamese based gaming studio, Sky Mavis that birthed Axie Infinity. Gaming is not particularly new in the crypto space, however, its progression has been behind but is currently picking up its pace. This is by far the highest-ranking sales value of all the projects that are listed here, just recently it surpasses $4 billion in sales for this play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain game based on the ETH cryptocurrency. The essence of these NFTs is that a player will need to purchase them to be able to play the game — the more expensive NFTs will yield better gameplay, which in turn has been a money-making machine for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. A huge success story of over two million active daily users has seen an increase of more of these types of P2E games that will make its way towards the metaverse in the upcoming months.
Indonesia IS THIS REAL: Ghozali
We had to put this on the list because how could we not? Pulling in massive traction on social media early this year, Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali from Indonesia jumps into the metaverse with his collection of 933 selfies titled Ghozali Everyday. What started out as a school project and a joke, he managed to make bank with nearly $1 million in sales after the collection went viral (we are not making this up). He started off with selling them at the price of 0.001 ETH each and now the volume traded has reached 396 ETH. He’s as confused as to why people would want to purchase his selfies, “it’s really a picture of me standing in front of the computer day by day” — we just have no faith in the internet anymore.