Can art in the metaverse really drive diversity and inclusion?
Vogue Singapore thinks so. Launching an exclusive NFT collection themed ‘Every Body’ in collaboration with curatorial collective, The MetaArt Club, they feature 10 artworks by five digital artists—KeiKen, CryptoZR (Liu Jiaying), Owo Aniete, Suzy Q and Wu Ziyang—who have each created two artworks inspired by the theme of ‘Every Body’. The collection aims to challenge cultural, racial, and gender tropes in fashion and the Metaverse.
“Partnering with Vogue Singapore for the ‘Every Body’ curatorial commission has spurred The MetaArt Club’s handpicked selection of digital artists to explore inclusivity in their own unique ways; taking diversity into new realms within the Metaverse to create exceptional works with utility for this collaborative drop,” says Levina Li, Co-founder of The MetaArt Club.
About the collection
Images courtesy of Vogue Singapore.
London and Berlin-based cross-dimensional collective, Keiken, merges the physical with the digital by building online worlds, augmented realities and realms in the Metaverse. As a part of the ‘Every Body’ collection, ‘U-Mi Water Warrior’ is a character created as both an animated NFT as well as a collectible NFT avatar pack that allows users to have a fully-rigged avatar in multiple forms. Collectors can edit and disseminate their avatar in the Metaverse and within games.
CryptoZR (Liu Jiaying)
Pioneering Chinese blockchain and crypto artist CryptoZR’s (Liu Jiaying’s) unique work is defined by its purity within the medium, stemming from her in-depth, academic knowledge of coding and blockchain programming to inform her practice as an artist. As part of the ‘Every Body’ collection, CryptoZR is referencing a futuristic version of Mother Nature in the Metaverse. The diptych ‘Mother Nature Bitcoin’ personifies the freedom of decentralised finance, as well as the consequences of losing one’s private key or seed phrase.
Nigerian digital artist, Owo Aniete’s narrative-based conceptual work, informed by symbolism and reimagining the significance for African diaspora culture of ancient, pre-colonial sculptures, has defined his meteoric rise in the crypto art space. The artwork ‘Freedom’ symbolises how loving yourself by your own standards is the true meaning of freedom, and ‘Peace’ depicts letting go of doubts, negativity and unrealistic expectations to bring about inner peace.
Drawing from diverse Asian cultural influences in her work, Korean digital artist Suzy Q’s work features the stylised character Moo, and graphically combines the mediums of digital painting, animation and sound design to bring the character to life in her highly coveted NFTs. ‘Moo, Night Air’ features Japanese goldfish, nuanced in colour and a symbol of oriental beauty and diversity, conveying the movement of the character’s journey through the breezy night air. While ‘Moo, Blessing’ is inspired by quantum mechanics and parallel universes and a reflection of our existence in the physical world and the beauty of being present in the physical body we inhabit.
Images courtesy of Vogue Singapore.
Digital artist Ziyang Wu’s futuristic work explores the digital realms of 3D animated video, augmented reality, artificial intelligence simulation and interactive video installation, examining how the virtual world, data and algorithms as invisible forces “ubiquitously micro-alienate and reconstruct humans in our highly globalised and digitised post-Internet society”. ‘Tele-Republic of Home – Body Allegory in the Post-Pandemic Era’ sees Wu recreate a situation where there is no distance between work and pleasure and all activities take place in this new life of the ‘bed’. ‘Screen Body – Times Square Dancing’ juxtaposes two types of bodies that are becoming more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives and hints at the virtual world’s increasing influence, both on a macro and micro scale, in our highly globalised and digitised society, as well as domination and survival in the Web 3.0 era.
Each of the 10 artworks featured in the collection is available in limited editions of 50, with some pieces featuring unlockable content which the buyer will be able to utilise.
The ‘Every Body’ NFT collection will be available on OpenSea via Vogue Singapore as of 8pm SGT/8am EST on 5 May 2022. To learn more about the collection and artworks, join the conversation with OpenSea, Vogue Singapore, The Meta Art Club and the five artists on Twitter Spaces hosted by @OpenSea at 10pm SGT/10am EST on 5 May 2022.