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The Future of the Commercialization of NFT Digital Artworks: A Conversation between Wuhe Qilin and Yi Guangtao of Ali Auction

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The Future of the Commercialization of NFT Digital Artworks: A Conversation between Wuhe Qilin and Yi Guangtao of Ali Auction

May 05
03:31 2021

On May 4, Chaozhou Museum of Art launched “New Trend Power: 2021 Contemporary Art and Design Exhibition” on the occasion of Youth Day, inviting 54 young artists and designers from all over Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to exhibit various works in new forms, in order to give voice to the reflections on art and the resolute creative attitudes of members of the “new trend”.

Zeng Zhen, Deputy Director of the Chaozhou Museum of Art, is responsible for the general planning of the exhibition, with Lu Rongzhi, an internationally renowned curator, as the academic chair. In addition to illustrating the new trend of combining technological innovation with the fashionable aesthetics with Chinese national characteristics, the exhibition also explores in a pioneering manner the role of digital construction in promoting Chinese culture and art.

All works at the exhibition have gone through the encryption process supported by Ant blockchain technology prior to being displayed, making it the first blockchain encrypted national fashion art group exhibition in China. For most of the works, this exhibition also serves as a preview before the charity auction of their encrypted digital copies takes place, which will be the first charity auction of NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital works in China. The auction will be hosted on Ali Auction, the world’s largest online auction platform, and all proceeds will be donated to charity organizations and funds.

During the forum at the exhibition opening ceremony on May 4, hosted by Lu Rongzhi, the young artist Wuhe Qilin and Vice President Yi Guangtao of Ali Auction, along with more than 20 artists including the musician A Duo and others, engaged in an online conversation on the opportunities with regard to the digitalization of works by young Chinese creatives. They also discussed the hot auctions of NFT digital works globally this year.


Wuhe Qilin: In a decentralized world, besides the value of the artwork, there is another aspect that people can focus on: the value of the creative act itself. Speaking of the emerging categories of artworks on the Internet, in addition to the traditional artistic value, artworks also have a time-sensitive value and a communication value. The time-sensitive value is derived from the communication value. For example, I have been trying to create some works of art based on international news, and these works will generate more communication value within a specific time span, and they might even change the future to some extent.

I don’t consider selling my works yet because they have a very pure purpose, even a mission, and I do not intend to prove the market value of my works for art collection. The other thing is that reproducible digital works, before the existence of NFT technology, were not feasible for trading, either. I think many of the online works of art created by the Internet generation have obvious creative values, but they are not to be viewed as tradeable works of art. Even if one day many people are willing to buy them for collection, we do not want them to become hyped commodities, which will go against our purpose in creating them and the meanings we hope them to convey.

Yi Guangtao: Digital works are a new phenomenon. The authenticity and value of artworks are generally determined by a small group. With the aid of blockchain technology and dissemination on the Internet, such things become much more accessible to be general public. The more heated the discussions on artworks are, the higher their prices, which in turn can trigger new discussions, and these may further enlighten new points of view, thus enabling a positive value accumulation of the artworks, but here we should be fully alert to excessive promotion and protect the long-term prosperity and healthy development of China’s fledging digital art market.

Currently Ali Auction is the world’s largest trading platform of non-standard items. First of all, we at Ali Auction absolutely endeavor to support the charity auction of digital works. Secondly, we offer full aid to young creatives, protecting their original creative works of art using blockchain technology. Ant Chain is the most widely used in the Chinese market, and by collaborating with the Chinese legal community, we enable the formation of a judicial chain that can quickly and conveniently protect copyrights. For other artworks, we mainly focus on the healthy revenue mechanism for artists. At this early stage, we focus on the protection of the healthy growth of young creatives. After we make remarkable progress in the current project, we will move on to more profound aspects of the matter.

About Ali Auction

Ali Auction is currently the world’s largest asset trading and high-end consumer platform. Its main business includes the trading of assets, real estate, cars, famous wines, luxury goods, jewelry, and artworks. It turns over billions of RMB on a daily basis. Offering a new type of auction, it has unparalleled extensibility that makes it suitable for a large number of both commercial and daily scenarios, thus creating a unique new business environment. Ali Auction is also an e-commerce platform that is naturally suited for marketing, where one finds a wide variety of attractive goods and where every week there are auctioned items that generate heated discussions on online public forums.

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