Remember the creator of TIME’S ‘Climate is Everything’ cover? Yes, Red Hong Yi! She spent 2 weeks creating an image that is part sculpture, part performance art. She and her-six person team constructed a 7.5 x 10-foot world map out of 50,000 green-tipped matchsticks.
Following that, the Malaysian artist set the artwork on fire — representing how the global climate crisis touches all of us, no matter where we live. Well, now, she’s back at it again!
This time, she has sold a non-fungible token (NFT) digital artwork after a two-week auction on the Binance NFT Marketplace for 36.3 ETH. This is worth roughly over RM320,000. As part of her “Memebank” collection, this digital artwork is titled “Doge to the Moon”. This series comprises six spoofed and redesigned banknotes from different countries and it includes the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Malaysian Ringgit, and Japanese Yen too.
These will be minted and made available on the Binance NFT Marketplace over the next 5 months. Red’s plan also includes a Memebank Exhibition to be held later this year in Kuala Lumpur, most probably if the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia improves. This exhibition aims to showcase all the physical Meme Banknotes in the series!
The purpose of this series is a reflection of how meme assets, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs have disrupted industries, including traditional banking and art galleries. The “Doge to the Moon” artwork is based on the Chinese Yuan and features the popular Doge meme. This is, in turn, a nod to China being at the forefront of the cryptocurrency landscape and an ode to the country being the first in history to issue paper money during the Song Dynasty.
Here’s some background information about cryptocurrency. It is decentralised digital money based on blockchain technology. The most popular ones would be Bitcoin and Ethereum however, there are more than 5,000 different cryptocurrencies in circulation. Using digital currency, you could buy regular goods and services. Albeit that, many people would invest in cryptocurrencies instead. This is a decentralised and encrypted medium of exchange, unlike normal currency.
The winning bidder of the NFT would be receiving the physical silk print banknotes as well as the accompanying copper plate. The copper plate has been etched with the design too! Taking the concept of inflation due to the continual printing of paper money, Red encourages the winner to print as many copies of the banknote as needed. She says that it’s a critique of central banks and fiat money.
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She said, “NFTs may still be a novel concept to many, but I do believe in its potential to create a more transparent and efficient world. NFTs have been gaining prominence in the arts industry in recent times and have allowed artists to create digital certificates of ownership for their valuable work.”
The references used in the Doge banknotes are indeed very symbolic to the cryptocurrency industry. For instance, the Dogecoin logo, “WOW” phrase and 06122013, indicating the date dogecoin was created. Part of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to Mercy Malaysia’s Covid-19 Pandemic Fund, and another portion would also go into social and art projects to support the local community. This is definitely a great initiative to uplift others in the nation.
Red’s digital artwork is indeed a spectacular masterpiece and we definitely can’t wait to see more of her works of art! Till, then, let’s support our local artists more!