NFT art show opening in Hong Kong, with sustainable development charities to benefit from proceeds of artwork sales

NFT art show opening in Hong Kong, with sustainable development charities to benefit from proceeds of artwork sales

The Shadow of Murgha Punishment (Corporal Punishment Series) by Fahim Rao. Limited edition NFTs of the 2021 work will be presented by the Sovereign Art Foundation during the Impact NFT Exhibition. Photo: Fahim Rao/Shaarbek Amankul

A technology platform backed by conservation organisation the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will hold an exhibition of “sustainable” NFT art in Hong Kong this month, amid concerns that booming investments in non-fungible tokens come at a steep environmental cost.

The Impact NFT Exhibition, to be held at Soho House Hong Kong, a private members’ club in Sheung Wan, from October 15-24, is organised by the Sovereign Art Foundation and Project Ark, a blockchain platform built by Panda Labs, the innovation arm of WWF (also known as the World Wildlife Fund), and Hong Kong technology company Carbonbase, which helps companies and individuals lower their carbon footprints.

The exhibition will feature  NFT art created for charity projects devoted to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The 17 UN goals go beyond climate actions, and include access to education, gender equality and other urgent social targets. Charities that will benefit from the sale of NFTs at the show include the Sovereign Art Foundation, other Hong Kong non-profits such as Earth.Org – which raises awareness of biodiversity and ecosystem loss – and non-profits further afield, including the Nashulai Maasai Conservancy in East Africa.

Hysteresis (2021), by Ophelia Jacarini, is a collection of 3D virtual sculptures made by the former ballerina that will be sold as NFTs to benefit annual Hong Kong charity appeal Operation Santa Claus, which the Post co-organises. Photo: Ophelia Jacarini

“We are proud to present a selection of shortlisted artworks from the 2021 Sovereign Asian Art Prize in digital form,” says Tiffany Pinkstone, executive director of the Sovereign Art Fund.

Other works on show will include Project Ark’s own “Genesis Drop”, which features new NFTs minted to raise funds for turning local communities into conservation leaders. Break The Chain, an anti-wildlife-trafficking campaign, will show augmented reality (AR) art projects, while The Nemesis will show how its “metaverse” virtual world supports projects meeting UN sustainability goals.

“We want to show Hong Kong and the world the power of NFTs for social and environmental impact by creating a win-win for artists, charities, and our partners,” says Roy Weissbach, business development adviser at Project Ark.

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