Covered and written by Nitika.

On 16th July 2021 (830am EST/6 pm IST) Museum of Crypto Art hosted the first-of-its-kind NFT Art Swap event as part of Crypto Art Week Asia (9-17 July 2021). 

The event was hosted by Shivani, director of MOCA, together with Fabin Rasheed at the museum’s Somnium Space. 

The three Asian Artists of Indian origin invited for the event are:

To mark the event, the artists swapped their NFTs among each other. Before the ART- SWAP, the four Indian Crypto artists met in the museum. They had a conversation about crypto art, their artistic practice, Asian artistry, trends, and struggles of being a crypto artist in India. At the Art Swap, artists exchanged their NFTs and inspiration behind their artworks. 

Fabin Rasheed, the event host, has been a member of the cryptoart community since the early 2020s. His artworks are AI-based. He is an active supporter of crypto art in India and a mentor to aspiring crypto artists. He has been putting great efforts into unifying Indian artists and spotlighting the emerging NFT artists. 

Laya Mathikshara, a 13-year-old NFT artist, is the youngest of the group. The intersection of art and technology fascinated her about NFTs and Metaverse. She started painting at the age of nine, soon developing an interest in creating digital art. She is curious about electronics and programming and signed up online to learn the basics of programming languages. She expressed the challenges she faced concerning wallets and understanding cryptos, as many are unaware of NFTs in India. She also shared t there is a lack of acceptance for a career in art in the Asian culture, but this is slowly changing with the evolving ecosystem NFTs. 

One of the artworks she tokenized is called “Gramophone – The mother of Art + Tech,” the idea that modern-day hard drives inherit the ‘needle head’ method from the classic gramophone core technology. Another one is “Diamond vs. Graphite,” a tribute to Buckminster Fuller – a designer who inspired the design of a carbon molecule, one of the largest objects to be a wave and a particle. She explained that the inspiration came from the fact that diamond and graphite are completely made of carbon, but their alignment is different, making one more valuable than the other. You can find her work available as NFTs here.

CyberShakti is an Indian multidisciplinary artist. She has been working in the cryptoart space since October 2020. Her work includes glitch aesthetics, collages, photo art, and photography. When it comes to defining her art genre, she chooses to transmute her creative energy into any medium she can while experimenting. She believes that “what you seek will find you,” as she learned about NFTs through her Glitch art community. She explains that the purpose of her images is to make people feel things in life. Her evocative artwork is inspired by feminine beauty.

Regarding Asian representation in NFTs, she describes “Colors of India” photography X Glitch art series, which uses portraits of Indian tribes and their ethnic attire. That has brought authentic Indian life and culture visuals to the blockchain and presented them to a global audience. To her, cryptoart means having the freedom to tell whatever stories she wants from anywhere on the planet. She recently had the opportunity to meet and connect with Native tribes from Africa, which she attributes to NFTs. Here are some of her artworks.

Arundhati Sudan is a 24-year-old digital artist with a background in tennis and an education in psychology. Her artistic expression is rooted in physical artworks with elements ranging from psychedelic elements, doodles, and monochromatic sketches. Art is her form of meditation. She channelizes her experiences working with military veterans and autistic children into her art, merging psychology and art. She shares her experiences with virtual reality and describes psychological studies that show that virtual spaces’ heightened emotional responses are close to reality. In her opinion, NFTs bring artists with varied cultural backgrounds to the forefront.  Her genesis NFT ‘God Particle’ reimagines an individual’s perception of reality through Rorschach. It was created on Blender 3D. The idea behind the piece was to bring out objectivity within subjectivity through manipulation and geometric nodes. It was recently sold on  Foundation.

According to the event’s co-host, Fabin Rasheed, as much as the NFT space in India is evolving, it still has a long way to go. He shares that crypto art garnered attention in 2017s worldwide, but it took four years for it to reach India. There is massive potential in the Indian crypto art space, and it is emerging expeditiously with new people joining.

The ART Swap took place in the order as follows:
Fabin sent his artwork to Laya,

Apiary by Fabin Rasheed

Laya transferred hers to Arundhati.

Iridescent nature by Laya

Arundhati to CyberShakti, 

Sparks by Silvereign

CyberShakti to Fabin.   

Evening star by CyberShakti

The Art Swap event exemplifies the values of the Museum of Crypto Art. According to the Museum of Crypto Art Manifesto, “MOCA offers a multitude of experiences around artwork and artists, This will create deeper layers of social, physical, and digital connections and realities.”

You can join the MOCA discord server here to stay up to date on upcoming events, and you can also follow the Museum here .


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