Gallery Hyundai dives head first into digital world with NFT project
Gallery Hyundai, known as one of the top art galleries in Korea, is diving into the digital world.
AIT Inc., a startup company focusing on art nonfungible tokens (NFTs), is set to launch an NFT art market platform called “Etnah” later this year.
AIT was founded by Gallery Hyundai’s CEO Do Hyung-teh and Altava Group’s CEO Andrew Ku. Altava Group is an IT company that collaborates with high-end fashion brands like Fendi to create NFTs for the metaverse.
A beta version of Etnah will be unveiled in May and final version will officially launch in August.
AIT’s co-CEO Do said in a press conference Wednesday that Etnah aims to popularize fine art among the general public.
Users will be able to share, purchase or auction NFT artworks on the platform. AIT said that it aims to introduce digital artworks to art collectors as well.
“The platform also serves an educational purpose as it will provide an opportunity for people to learn about each artist,” said Do.
The first set of artworks that will be digitized into NFT forms are by famous artists Kim Whanki (1913-74), Lee Jung-seob (1916-56), 80-year-old Lee Kun-yong and 46-year-old Ryan Gander, who is based in Britain. To make this happen, AIT worked hand in hand with art museums and the foundations of artists.
For example, Kim’s painting “Where, in What Form, Shall We Meet Again 16-Ⅳ-70 #166” (1970) will be turned into an NFT with the help of the Whanki Foundation.
Lee Kun-yong, who is recognized for his experiments in performance art, video, sculpture and installations, will showcase his “Bodyscape” series in NFTs. An avatar of Lee was created by digitizing every aspect and movements of the actual artist doing his famed brushstrokes. When a user chooses a preferred color, the avatar will do a performance of drawing a “Bodyscape” painting and the final work will be issued into an NFT.
When asked how he feels about NFTs, Lee told press that he believes communication is crucial in art, which is why he decided to take part in this project.
“If the digital world helps me to interact more with people all over the globe with my artworks, then I am ready to embrace anything,” he said.
Do assured that Etnah’s NFTs will abide by a strict contract that guarantees all copyrights to the rightful artists, and that NFTs that allow any sort of piracy will not be distributed.
However, how artistically valuable these NFTs will turn out to be is a matter that needs to be continuously discussed, Do said.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [email@example.com]