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Art What!: Poly Auction Hong Kong × The Authority launch debut NFT Exhibitions and Online Auction

*16 ‘Smoochies’ under the MÆTHERIAL collection

Following the explosion of Non Fungible Tokens (“NFTs”) onto the global art scene, Poly Auction Hong Kong has teamed up with The Authority to curate an exclusive collection of NFT creations by leading NFT artists. The collection features brand new creations from NFT sensation Andreas Ivan as well as 11 other internationally renowned artists. They will be debuted through Exhibitions in Hong Kong and an Online Auction hosted on Poly Auction’s mobile app and WeChat mini programme. This is an extraordinary step for Poly Auction Hong Kong and marks a significant milestone in the growth of NFTs in Asia. 

The Exhibitions will be hosted through two shows. First, between 7th to 15th October, Andreas Ivan’s Smoochies: MÆTHERIAL Collection will be exhibited at Poly Gallery Hong Kong. This show marks the first time that Andreas Ivan, a remarkable digital Russian-Mauritian artist living in China, will officially collaborate with a Global Auction House. Andreas has created Smoochies: MÆTHERIAL specifically for launch with Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority. The Smoochies: MÆTHERIAL collection consists of 16 ‘Smoochies’. Each ‘Smoochie’ creation will be a 1 of 1 edition NFT available for Auctions and will be accompanied by 8 limited edition prints available for purchase at the Exhibition. This marks the first time Andreas Ivan’s highly sought after ‘Smoochies’ will be created in Fine Art print. Andreas has expressed that only 100 ‘Smoochies’ will be created in the course of his creative career, making Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority’s upcoming auction a rare opportunity to collect Andreas’ NFT creations.

Secondly, between 22nd October to 9th November, Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority will debut the NFT creations of 11 collaborating artists in an Exhibition titled ‘Are you BORED or NOT?’ at Pacific Place. ‘Are you BORED or NOT?’ will feature brand new creations from an ensemble artist lineup including Jonathan Jay Lee, an award-winning illustrator; Jasper Wong, a HYPEBEAST Top 100 Influential Artist; Kongkee, a legendary Hong Kong Comic Book artist and animator; as well as Andrés Rivera, a rising New York NFT artist. 

“We are very delighted to collaborate with The Authority in presenting 16 artworks specifically created for this Exhibition by Andreas Ivan, a rising star in NFT art and the recipient of a great deal of publicity,” says Alex Chang, Chief Executive Officer of Poly Auction (Hong Kong) Limited. “This will be the first time that Poly Auction (Hong Kong) holds an exhibition and online auction on NFT digital artworks. Through this opportunity, we wish to showcase the abundant creativity and the limitless possibilities of NFT artworks, as well as to open up more space for development for the next generations to come. We will continue making exploration in new realms so as to offer collectors a forward-looking paradigm with our art collection.”

“Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority’s debut NFT show is a major milestone for Asia’s art scene. It is our great pleasure to collaborate with the esteemed Poly platform to introduce NFT sensation Andreas Ivan and the exclusive drop of his MÆTHERIAL Collection,” says Eliott Suen, Founder of The Authority. The Authority is founded on the ethos of bridging the physical and virtual worlds, and on empowering creativity with technology. We seek to bring blockchain technology and digital art to the forefront of fine arts in Asia. In this campaign, Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority focus on working with rising talents in the NFT space. The possibilities are endless, and we are very excited.” 

Andreas has risen to NFT stardom through his original creation, ‘Smoochies’. Earlier this year, he launched a debut collection of 36 ‘Smoochies’ that sold out at record-breaking Ethereum valuations, breaking NFT sales records in Asia. Theunprecedented demand propelled ‘Smoochies’ into NFT folklore: ‘Smoochies’ are now featured in NFT-spotlight articles in Business TIMES Magazine and Bazaar Art. Andreas’ creations were featured alongside the works of fellow NFT heavyweights Beeple and Pak in China’s first global NFT Exhibition held in Shanghai.

As an expat living in China, Andreas is separated from his parents thousands of miles. This distance has been extremely challenging. His mother’s longing to have him by her side led to the creation of ‘Smoochies’. As a sign of appreciation for his mother, Andreas created  ‘Smoochies’ to replicate the kisses his mother imparted in times of difficulty. The pouting design of ‘Smoochies’ is meant to convey the same love, comfort and support that the young Andreas received from his mother. Andreas hopes that the loving message underlying ‘Smoochies’ can bring a smile to its viewers and collectors.

Andreas Ivan initially designed 36 ‘Smoochies’. All 36 ‘Smoochies’ were 1 of 1 edition that sold out as soon as they were minted into NFTs. This unprecedented demand for Smoochies cemented the ‘Smoochies’ name in NFT folklore and pop culture. The MÆTHERIAL collection features 16 new ‘Smoochies’ created by Andreas Ivan, bringing the ‘Smoochies’ universe to a total of 52 Smoochies. All ‘Smoochies’ from the MÆTHERIAL collection come from a particular area within the NFT metaverse and represent their elemental belongings and origin. The 16 ‘Smoochies’ will be launched as 1 of 1 edition NFTs and limited edition physical prints, which marks the first time Andreas’ ‘Smoochies’ will be created in Fine Art print. Bidding for the NFT ‘Smoochies’ will take place between 8th to 12th November on the Poly Auction mobile app and the WeChat mini program. The buyer who casts the winning bid for any 1 of 1 edition NFT ‘Smoochies’ will receive the corresponding 1 of 8 limited edition print of the same ‘Smoochies’ for free. The remaining 7 prints for each ‘Smoochies’ will be sold at the Exhibition.

BORED version: Girl Talk

Poly Auction Hong Kong and The Authority will also be collaborating on the launch of an Exhibition titled ‘Are you BORED or NOT?. The Exhibition will bring the NFT creations of 11 internationally-renowned artists under one roof.  The artists’ NFTs are designed as 2 counterparts: a ‘BORED’ version and a ‘NOT BORED’ version. Both NFTs present the same subject, but are differentiated by being ‘BORED’ or ‘NOT BORED’, a theme that is prevalent in the current NFT metaverse. All NFTs will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain. All ‘BORED’ creations will be one and only edition NFTs accompanied by 50 limited edition prints sold onsite at the Exhibition. Buyers of the prints will be placed into a lucky draw to win the 1 of 1 NFT version of their purchased artwork. All ‘NOT BORED’ creations will be exclusive edition NFTs, open for auction from 8th to 12th November in the Poly Auction mobile app and WeChat mini programme.

Andrés is a New York native illustrator and Associate Creative Director of Brand New School, one of the world’s most reputed Creative Design and Production studios. Andrés has a natural knack for visual storytelling, conveyed through a fluid blending of 2D, 3D and illustration. As a digital artist who has already successfully transitioned into the NFT world, Andrés views the NFT phenomenon as a cultural movement. He believes NFTs, in particular, ‘Profile Picture NFTs’, builds a new sense of community, signalling their belonging to the NFT world in general.

NOT BORED version: Bubble Gum Ranger

Andrés’ ‘Profile Picture NFTs’ are titled “Girl Talk” and “Bubble Gum Ranger”. The works carefully blend pop culture references with crypto community nods to tell the story of a hustling NFT native. Andrés explores the central artistic concept currently underlying ‘Profile Picture NFT’s: ‘TRAITS’. In the ‘Profile Picture NFT’ metaverse, every NFT has the same underlying frame, then they are differentiated by the traits, or unique features, bestowed upon individual NFTs. A ‘Profile Picture NFT’ is deemed as more ‘hype’ or ‘rare’ when it includes bigger, shiner, and crazier traits. 

In “BORED” version Girl Talk , the subject’s traits are monotonous: Her hair tie, digital watch, Hello Kitty hairpin, band-aid, Power Ranger t-shirt and brick phone are relics of over-saturated pop culture. With a disinterested expression, she ponders: “WGMI?”. This is an acronym for “We Gonna Make It?”, a popular expression used by the crypto community pondering the fate of their investments. In the “NOT BORED” version of Bubble Gum Ranger, the subject and her pose remain unchanged, but her traits are completely transformed. With her eyes wide open, she has now teleported to space wearing a pink space suit and wielding a wand inspired by Sailor Moon. She is no longer asking “WGMI?”, because she has made it. The themes underlying her traits – space, power suits and magic wands – are nods to the rarest traits found in the most sought after NFTs across the NFT metaverse.

Andreas Ivan ‘Smoochies’ Exhibition runs from 7th – 15th October 2021 (10:00 – 18:00) at Poly Gallery Hong Kong (7/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong).

Are you BORED or NOT? Exhibition runs from 15th – 22nd October 2021 (11:00 – 20:00) at Shop 100B, Level L1, Pacific Place (Near Dim Sum Library).

The NFT Online Auction runs from 8th – 12th November 2021 via The Poly Auction app and the WeChat mini program. More information available here

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