Art lovers and digital art enthusiasts recently converged for the highly anticipated "Digital Art Week Asia 2023," an event hosted by Shinwa ARTEX, a subsidiary of Shinwa Wise Holdings. Running from October 24th to October 29th, this year's event offered a captivating mix of digital art exhibitions, interactive experiences, and a special Halloween celebration. The highlight of the week was an NFT auction held on October 28th at 6:00 PM.
Now in its third year, the "Digital Art Week Asia" series has become a notable platform for exploring the dynamic world of digital art. This year's primary focus on "Gamification" showcased the merging of art and gaming in various forms, including 3D, AR, VR, and NFT mediums. Singaporean curator Warren Wee, known for his expertise in the art world, was entrusted with the curation and production of the event.
In an interview with Youichirou Kurata, CEO of Shinwa Wise Holdings, he shared his insights into the inspiration behind "Digital Art Week Asia" and his vision for the future of digital art. Kurata expressed, "Human beings have been creating art since the beginning, but the 20th century marked the maturity of oil painting and the crisis of capitalism." He continued, "With the advent of digital technology and NFT art, we see a limitless potential to save human beings and embrace a new art form in the 21st century."
When discussing the evolution of the event, Kurata emphasized the heightened focus on "gamification" as a reflection of the significance of game elements in the digital art world. He also expressed his belief in the gradual digitalization of art in the future, stating, "This is my belief that art will be pretty much digitalized in the future. I thought the time should have come much earlier. While I feel the speed for the art digitalization is slow, the time will come soon."
The topic shifted to the role of NFTs in the art world, particularly in Japan. Kurata sees NFTs as having immense potential and believes that Japan, with its rich content offerings, may lead in the adoption of NFT technology. He highlighted the role of NFTs in the expanding realms of the metaverse and multi-verse, saying, "NFTs have a full of potential, and we will rely on NFTs in our ordinary life in the future. As a contents country, Japan might utilize NFT technology much more than other countries. Metaverse and multi-verse need a concept of NFTs. Human will expand the inhabitant area into more wide dimensions in the future utilizing NFTs."
Looking ahead, Kurata underscored the importance of discovering new digital artists to shape the future of digital art, reiterating Shinwa Holdings' commitment to supporting this evolution. He stated, "We must find a new great artist in the digital world. We keep holding the exhibition to find real digital artists to create our new world."
In a separate interview with Warren Wee, the curator of "Digital Art Week Asia," he provided insight into why this year's theme centered on "Gamification." Wee explained, "With the interest in computer gaming globally, Digital Art Week Asia 2023's overarching theme was to explore elements in computer gaming and how it was translated into art. We are showing both traditional and digital works where we explore the origin of pixel art, computer gaming technology and how different internationally acclaimed artists and Web 3.0 projects interpret this art style into their practice."
The event showcased renowned artists, including eBoy, known for their pioneering pixel art style. Wee described eBoy's contribution, saying, "eBoy is widely regarded as being the pioneer in the pixel art style, and they are showing a retrospective of over 26 years of their artistic practice on physical large format aluminum prints which the public can touch and feel, and also on the screen with their animated pixoramas of various cities."
Another highlight was the work of EXCALIBUR, a highly acclaimed Japanese pixel art group. Wee explained, "EXCALIBUR, a highly acclaimed Japanese pixel art group, is showing their interpretation of pixel art as unique Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints), and are also exploring existence in this digital age."
ARIEF WITJAKSANA's art, which comes to life through Augmented Reality, was another noteworthy feature. Wee shared, "ARIEF WITJAKSANA would be showcasing his acrylic on canvas work which comes to life, with the help of Augmented Reality."
In light of the rising popularity of NFTs, especially within the intersection of traditional and digital art, Wee expressed his optimism about the future of these art forms, stating, "I personally believe the future is very bright for this art form, and as technology progresses, so would the art."
As "Digital Art Week Asia 2023" came to a close, it became clear that the merging of art and technology, particularly through NFTs, is reshaping the art world. Events like these are at the forefront of this transformation, and digital art enthusiasts and creators eagerly anticipate the exciting developments that lie ahead in this rapidly evolving medium.
Digital Art Week Asia 2023
All credits: Digital Artweek Asia @artweekasia