The zeitgeist is abuzz with non-fungible tokens (NFT) as the future of fine (digital) art collecting. Meet Katun, whose two NFT collections (“Apes Stand Strong” and “Mystical Fruits”) raked over 127.6 ETH or approximately RM1.6 million in just 24 hours. This makes it the most expensive batch of NFTs sold by a Malaysian artist in one release.
Besides his recent success, Katun has collaborated with major brands like Vans and New Era, and his artwork has been featured by Grammy winner Chris Brown. As an internationally recognised home-grown artist, he is also the first artist to launch an NFT on the cryptocurrency platform, Superfarm, which is co-founded by YouTuber Elliotrades.”
Here, Katun talks to UNRESERVED about his personal take on NFTs, and his latest collections that set a new record for NFT art sales in Malaysia.
Describe your NFT journey.
It’s been a long one with lots of ups and downs. This creative journey allowed me to venture into fields and areas that were untouched in my career. I think the toughest part was the animations for me, because I hadn’t dabbled so deeply into it, so that was definitely something that I relied on my friends to guide and help me with. The overall struggles were certainly worth it, because on launch day, I forgot about all the hard times and just enjoyed being in the moment.
What is your personal take on NFT, and how can people understand NFT better?
I believe that NFT’s are 1000% here to stay. They are in their infancy right now, just as cryptocurrency was years ago. I’ve seen so many benefits and creative ideas being implemented into the NFTs outside of just artwork—the music industry, the gaming industry, the animation industry… I think there’s so much more to see and so much more to learn about NFTs.
What inspired you to create both collections and why did you create them?
Being able to work with Superfarm was an inspiration in itself, as well as that I’m also the first artist on the platform, so that really made me put a pedestal for myself on this launch. I created the collection as I wanted to see the value and demand of my art in the NFT world, so I conceptualized two different narratives, which are titled “Apes Stand Strong” & “Mystical Fruits”.
I wanted my NFTs to have a deeper meaning or something that people can relate to—” Apes Stand Strong” basically represents us humans bonding together by helping and supporting each other through difficult times. It’s a battle against evil or negative vibes.
The other NFT, “Mystical Fruits”, portrays three young apes standing together, being carefree. The combination of all the works represented in the NFTs summarizes life: the good, the bad, the struggles and the want to find happiness.
What are the messages that you want to convey through both collections?
The message I had wanted to convey is that everyone should stand strong together through all the tough times that life throws at us and to know at the end of the day, beautiful things happen to those that persevere.
Did you foresee a huge potential for the both collections?
I was a bit nervous prior to the drop, as it was my first time releasing NFTs, but David, my manager, had already predicted the success of it and the results were exactly like how he predicted. It was surreal!
How do you feel about being the first Malaysian artist to have their collections being the most expensive artwork to date?
It’s very hard to express how I feel, to be honest, but yes, I feel blessed. All the hard work we put on this release was worth it—we definitely earned it!
What’s your advice to those who aspire to follow in your footsteps?
Enjoy the process, don’t rush, and be happy with everything you do and create.
What is your personal hope for the future of digital art and NFTs in particular?
I hope everyone who ventures into this world will attain success in their art career, but also at the same time produce exciting and awesome pieces of art! After my release, I realised that creating these NFTs had given me a boost to want to create even more pieces than I could even imagine.
Photo credit: 4 Stages