|A screenshot of the website for the "me.Duck" project / Courtesy of Art Center Nabi|
By Park Han-sol
Just two weeks ago, the Kansong Art Museum shook the art world through its unprecedented decision to put up the "Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon" ― the priceless 15th-century manuscript for the Korean writing system, "Hangeul" ― for sale as limited-edition NFTs (non-fungible tokens). The move has stirred up controversy over the commercialization of the country's national treasure.
On Tuesday, the museum in Seongbuk District, northern Seoul, announced its collaboration with the digital art museum, Art Center Nabi, to launch a project called, "me.Duck," where the two will release a series of NFT artworks that creatively utilize and reinterpret the cultural artifacts owned by the museum.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind tokens that can represent any unique digital asset, and which can then be bought and sold virtually. The NFT proves that only the buyer possesses the original image, with the information about each transaction tracked and maintained in its blockchain.
"It's an art project that aims to preserve the spirit of the times, reflected within the items of our cultural heritage in a virtual form," Art Center Nabi stated on its website regarding the "me.Duck" project, expressing its aim to target digital-savvy Millennials and Generation Z, who are becoming more visible as a new group of art collectors.
The first "me.Duck" project, scheduled to be launched online Aug. 15, will revolve around the "House of Fortune: me.Duck Card," a set of 38 collectible cards with designs inspired by the visual symbols within the Kansong Art Museum's artifact collection.
The virtual card set ― divided into "general," "rare" and "super rare" categories ― will add a creative touch to the traditional auspicious symbols of fame, prestige, peace in the home, a long life and wealth, featured in antique Korean paintings and porcelains.
Upon purchase, each card will be distributed at random. The money raised from the sale will be, according to the two organizations, used to preserve the artifacts at the art museum and retrieve cultural assets that have been stolen or removed from the country.
"While introducing pieces of cultural heritage to the global audience, we also hope that these NFT purchases will lead to further donations that make the preservation, operation and display of the physical, surviving artifacts possible," Art Center Nabi director Roh Soh-Yeong explained.