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Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) Newsroom

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month with a Look at Some of the Top Asian NFT Creators and Platforms

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month with a Look at Some of the Top Asian NFT Creators and Platforms

The month of May holds many meaningful holidays and milestones: Cinco de Mayo, graduations, summer vacations, and Memorial Day.

May is also Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad on this day, 154 years ago (May 10, 1869).

In celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month, we, at Ingram’s NFT Newsroom, are highlighting a handful of top Asian NFT creators and/or platforms.

NFT Asia:

NFT Asia was founded in March 2021 by a team of artists to provide an “open and inclusive community centered on uplifting Asian and Asia-based artists and creatives all around the world.” Last year, NFT Asia curated a list of artists working with NFTs from all across Asia and held an exhibition titled A Screen of One’s Own on the eve of NFT NYC 2022. This year, NFT Asia is collaborating with imnotArt to present an exhibition titled Digital Expressions at imnotArt’s physical gallery in Chicago, IL from May 17, 2023 through May 31, 2023, alongside a metaverse showcase. This exhibition aims to highlight the diversity within the digital art and web3 communities through both physical and digital displays and to strengthen and broaden the relationship between Western and Eastern art and web3 communities. NFT Asian and imnotArt are taking submissions to be selected for this exhibition from May 8, 2023 through May 12, 2023. Check their Twitter for more information!

Drue Kataoka:

Drue Kataoka is a Japanese American artist who is fighting racism through NFTs. In May of 2022, she launched her first NFT In The Club: #StopAsianHate. Kataoka described the NFT: “It’s a digital monument to the elevating power of Pan-Asian unity, allyship, and the diverse Asian American and Global voices marching to the heartbeat of a higher calling. There are many names, but no photos in the original Clubhouse room that started a movement. Instead, above each activist name is a gaping hole—a window into the world around us, and the pain and beauty of this historic time. The chanting from the streets, recorded at a recent protest, is overlaid with the heartbeat of the artist, an Asian American woman, serving as a clock to “spawn” a stream of new names at a relentless pace. At the end of the 1 minute artwork, the scene fades into timelessness and history under the onslaught of powerful winds—a nod to Qi/Chi/Ki/Prana literally “air”—the vital energy and life force across many Asian Cultures.” It sold for $35,000. Kataoka also partnered with ILMxLAB to auction her NFT Will Your Heart Pass the Test? which was sold for $252,000. All proceeds from the sale went to Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and #StopeAAPIHate.

Specifically in celebration of AANHPI month, Kataoka curated the exhibition titled #TheGoldStandard, which features ten artworks from Asian-American artists, “ranging from rising stars in the NFT space to scientists and researchers who are pushing the frontier of what is technically possible in crypto to veterans of some of the world’s leading special effects houses in the entertainment industry, to art entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.”

Munira Hamzah a/k/a Mumu The Stan:

Munira Hamzah is a rising Malaysian NFT artist and founder of MalaysiaNFT, a non-profit organization that supports Malaysian artists in the NFT scene and serves as an online platform that provides educational materials, minting funds as well as peer support to local creatives. She is a strong community leader and advocate for gender diversity and increasing mental health awareness and support, both of which are very difficult topics to discuss (or even acknowledge) in many Asian cultures.

This month, she launched a new physical and NFT collaboration with (unfortunately, the link posted on her Twitter may not be accessible for US-based users). The NFT collaboration is a series of pixelated cat cartoon pins that provides purchasers an opportunity to claim an exclusive NFT.

Emily Yang a/k/a pplpleasr:

Emily Yang is a Tawainese NFT artist who started creating animations to promote DeFi protocols after Apple rescinded a job offer and left Yang unemployed in New York. Her work was quickly recognized and she recently went viral. Yang produced a video for Uniswap that sold for $525,000. Since then, Yang has created a DAO to support her work, partnered with Fortune to launch a philanthropic fund to advance investigative journalism and foster journalistic integrity, and designed the April cover of Vogue magazine’s Taiwan edition. Yang has used the proceeds of the sale of her art to set up the Stand With Asians Community Fund, which raised over $850,000 towards strengthening the AAPI community, and an NFT collective for charitable work.

Not only is it incredibly refreshing to see AANHPI representation in this sector, but it is also immensely heartwarming to see so much humanity and compassion from these artists. Do you have a favorite AANHPI NFT artist? We would love to hear how you may celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month this year. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

By: Rachel J. Hong

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