Multi-disciplinary artist and Far Eastern University alumnus Bjorn Calleja, whose work has been exhibited in galleries both locally and internationally, such as headlining the recently held Art Fair Philippines 2022, takes another step forward into the non-fungible token (NFT) space as the lone Filipino artist whose work will be exhibited during the pioneering interactive art exhibit entitled “NFTs + The Ever-Evolving World of Art” at Art Basel Hong Kong.
The exhibit, organized by blockchain firm TZ APAC and Art Basel, will commence from May 27 to May 29 in Hong Kong’s Convention & Exhibition Center. Including Calleja, the event will showcase the works of over 20 contemporary “generative” digital artists from around the world. The interactive exhibition space will also feature a showcase designed in collaboration with FXhash, the leading generative art platform on the Tezos blockchain, allowing visitors to receive a unique generative artwork NFT from participating artists in a first-of-its-kind interactive NFT gallery experience.
Bjorn Calleja’s art style is described as a reflection of the interplay between the micro-and macrocosms of humans within and against their environments. He described one of his NFT projects, Stoopid Avatar, as his “satirical commentary on my outsider’s perspective on the PFP culture.”
“I think as a contemporary artist minting NFTs, value should exceed utility and marketing gimmicks, nothing against them but I understand that it’s a long game and there is more to Art than these tangibles,” Calleja’s remarks on NFTs, which are unique digital assets on the blockchain.
In line with this year’s theme of ‘NFTs + the Ever-Evolving World of Art’, Katherine Ng mentioned that TZ APAC is “excited to showcase especially innovative works that point to NFTs and their limitlessness as a medium, empowering artists as it redefines the scope and scale of today’s art world in the digital age.”
“It’s time that we recognize this new generation of digital talent in a traditional forum as the worlds of modern art, technology, and the creator economy continue to converge,” she added.
“As the leading contemporary art fair in the world, it’s exciting to once again see the art community able to gather and celebrate the spirit of innovation in today’s art scene. To have the opportunity to showcase some of the world’s leading digital art talent is at the heart of what the Tezos ecosystem is celebrated for. NFTs have given these creators an unprecedented opportunity to reach new audiences, hone their craft, and make a name for themselves in an online forum, effectively rewriting the rulebook when it comes to the accessibility of the art world,” said Katherine Ng, Head of Marketing and Operations at TZ APAC.
The other international artist featured in the exhibit are; Nicolas Sassoon (France) Qingnan Tan (Random Combo) (China), Chaeseok (CS) Lim (South Korea), Lionel Radisson (makio135) (France), Yazid Azahari (Brunei), Munira Hamzah (Mumu the stan) (Malaysia), Iskra Velitchkova (Bulgaria), Michaël Zancan (France), Sarah Ridgley (United States), Aleksandra Jovanić (Serbia), Park Se Jin (08AM) (South Korea), Fan Yi Wen (Reva) (China), Matt DesLauriers (Canada), and Wieslaw Borkowski (baiwei) (Poland).
Art Basel Hong Kong 2022 will highlight artworks from 130 local and international exhibitors. For those unable to attend the event in person, galleries will also be presenting their work online as part of 'Art Basel Live: Hong Kong,’ in dedicated Online Viewing Rooms.
What are NFTs?
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique token that is utilized to represent various types of digital assets like artworks, game items, skins, music, videos, books, etc that are verified on a blockchain. The contents of the NFTs are usually stored in a decentralized data storage platform.
What is Generative Art?
The use of an algorithm or computer code to generate art. The artist creates the rules using a program like FxHash, and then the program will generate the art on the artist’s behalf.
Tezos is smart money, redefining what it means to hold and exchange value in a digitally connected world. A self-upgradable and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain with a proven track record, Tezos seamlessly adopts tomorrow's innovations without network disruptions today. For more information, please visit tezos.com.
About TZ APAC
TZ APAC Pte. Ltd. ("TZ APAC") is the leading Asia-based blockchain adoption entity supporting the Tezos ecosystem. It designs value-added blockchain transformation strategies for enterprises and creators with a bottom-up approach, working closely with blockchain experts and other stakeholders in the Tezos ecosystem. TZ APAC is supported by the Tezos Foundation and is headquartered in Singapore. For more information, please visit tzapac.com.
FXhash is an open platform where artists can publish Generative Tokens which are stored on the Tezos blockchain. Generative Tokens are programs designed to produce random outputs. Once a Generative Token is enabled (when the artist decides it), anyone with a Tezos wallet can mint their own unique iteration of the Generative Token. Each iteration produces a unique piece that is stored as an NFT on the Tezos blockchain. The NFTs are FA2 compliant, which means that they can be exchanged like any other NFT everywhere in the Tezos ecosystem. For more information, please visit: fxhash.xyz.
About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel's engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through new digital platforms and a number of new initiatives such as the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, Intersections: The Art Basel Podcast, and the BMW Art Journey. Art Basel's Global Media Partner is The Financial Times. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.
Bjorn Calleja (b. 1981, Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino painter and interdisciplinary artist. He earned his BFA from Far Eastern University, where he later became a part-time lecturer. Aside from exhibiting his work, his early career involved corporate jobs and stints as a graphic designer. He also co-founded Design. Other Things. (2012-2014), a design studio that employed a team of visual artists.
Solo exhibitions include; Unknown Unknowns at the ArtFair Philippines/Projects (2022), The Ennead at Secret Fresh Gallery (2018); Acme at West Gallery (2018); Postcolonial Rubbish at Pablo Gallery (2017); Self-Portrait as a Hamburger at Secret Fresh Gallery (2016); There is no Solution because there is no Problem at Underground Gallery (2016); Confessions of an Almost Artist at West Gallery (2013); Bubblegum Stories at Secret Fresh Gallery (2012); Eat my Daddy at The Crucible Gallery (2012); Some Failed Attempts in Creating a Good Image for Painting at West Gallery (2011); The Color Bringer at Secret Fresh Gallery (2011); Fear Made me Do This at Lost Projects (2011). His work has also been included in various group exhibitions locally and abroad, and published in books; Toy Art 2.0 (2014), Philippines: Inter Tropical Convergence Zone Contemporary Artists from the Philippines Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection (2014).
Reasons for Nomination:
Community Leader and one of the most popular NFT artist in the Philippines
Linked Artworks: objkt.com/asset/KT1RkusjdjegLtVc4K9yux2TLLyP8YwM2EZV/0
Image 1 - The Longest Pause
Image 2 - Big Bad Idea