BitPinas, a local crypto news publication, and TZ APAC, the leading adoption entity for the Tezos ecosystem in Asia, successfully organized #tezmasPH, the first ever NFT-minting contest in the Philippines. Twenty five Filipino artists submitted their entries all depicting how Filipinos celebrate its longest holiday – the Christmas season. BitPinas and TZ APAC, together with visual artist Jopet Arias and community partners Crypto Art Philippines and NFT Philippines, are thrilled to announce the winners of this inaugural NFT competition:
The NFT will remain on the showcase page of #tezmasPH and the organizers will never sell or burn them. Visit the virtual gallery here: https://oncyber.io/exhibits/LtZPWfHnWJ67gxWQBnvi
Prior to submitting their work, the artists are asked to create multiple editions so they can immediately sell their artwork while waiting for the announcement of the contest winners.
“Aside from what’s possibly the first ever NFT minting contest in the Philippines, it’s one of those rare art competitions where the artists are allowed to sell their work immediately. I have experienced joining art competitions where we are only allowed to sell our work after the winners are announced, but the value of the art have become lower particularly for those that did not win the competition,” says visual artist Jopet Arias, who helped in organizing #tezmasPH.
Winners of the #tezmasPH contest were decided by four distinguished judges known for their work in the local and international art and literary community.
AJ Dimarucot – Renowned graphic designer, art director, and entrepreneur. AJ designed for global brands like Nike, Jordan Brand, the NBA, Adobe, among others. He collaborated with global icon and philanthropist Apl.de.ap for his first ever NFT.
Jowee Alviar – Renowned graphic designer, educator and co-founder of Team Manila Graphic Design Studio and Team Manila Lifestyle
David Ting – Art collector, entrepreneur, and Head of Growth at TZAPAC
Yvette Tan – The most celebrated horror writer in the Philippines, Yvette is recipient of several awards, including the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.
“Filipinos have always been proud of their creativity, and this is one more way for artists to offer the world a glimpse of the visions inside their heads. The entries run from sentimental to delightfully surprising, all of them revealing different aspects of the Filipino Christmas,” says Yvette Tan, celebrated literary writer and author of “Walking the Dead and Other Horror Stories” and “The Last Moon,” the first storybook NFT project that was released at the 500-year-old Frankfurt Book Fair last October.
“While the contest asked the participants to showcase how Fiipinos celebrate the holidays through familiar local imagery of the Simbang Gabi (evening mass) and parols (Christmas lanterns), most, if not all, of the entries managed to capture Christmas in the context of the current situation in the Philippines, which had the strictest and the longest lockdown compared to other countries,” says Michael Mislos, managing editor of BitPinas.com, the Philippine-focused crypto news publication.
“Still, Filipinos are known around the world for their legendary resiliency and their ability to smile even in the face of sometimes insurmountable uncertainties. I’m impressed with the quality and the level of imagination of the artists who took part in the #tezmasPH competition and their depiction of how Christmas is celebrated by Filipinos today,” Mislos added.
“I hope this competition becomes an eye-opener particularly to the participants and the wider art community on the opportunities that NFT brings to artists around the world,” says Arias, referring to non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital items secured by blockchain technology and can be in the form of digital art, music, or even collectibles. Basically anything that can be stored digitally can be made into NFTs, allowing the creators to prove they created the digital item, and the owners to prove that what they own is unique and authentic. NFTs’ popularity went fever pitch when the digital artist Beeple sold “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days,” a collection of all of his work up to that point in his career, at Christie’s, the legendary auction house in New York, for $69 million.
Jowee Alviar, creative director and co-founder of Team Manila Graphic Design Studio, says there are practical reasons for artists and designers to be in the NFT space. “Many creatives lost their source of income last year because of the pandemic. Many artists are finding new collectors of their work through the NFT marketplace and community. In turn, they have offset their losses from last year and are now earning from selling NFT art. We hope this success multiplies in the coming months,” Alviar said in an interview with BitPinas crypto news publication.
#tezmasPH: Pinoy Christmas-themed NFT minting contest encouraged artists to mint their NFTs on any Tezos-powered NFT marketplace such as Hic et Nunc and Objkt.com. Because Tezos is a proof-of-stake blockchain, it uses two million times less energy to operate than proof-of-work blockchains. This allows for drastically less fees when artists mint their work. TZ APAC shouldered the fees for artists who didn’t have the funds to participate in the competition, allowing especially new artists to effectively begin their NFT journey.
“Even before NFTs, it has been a lifelong dedication of mine to help Filipino creatives monetize their talents and work with clients abroad. NFTs have added a new opportunity to monetize their talents directly through digital assets,” says AJ Dimarucot, renowned graphic designer and manager of the First Mint Fund, which also helps artists get onboarded to NFT by shouldering their first fees. I am glad to have discovered new artists through the #tezmasPH competition, and I’m confident that each new artist we onboard is another artist that will onboard other artists to NFTs,” Dimarucot said.
Tezos-powered NFT marketplaces are unique because the cheap gas fees allow users to experiment on their work. And this experimentation is visible in the #tezmasPH entries.
“The artists’ submitted entries are all on brand with the kind of work found on Tezos NFT marketplaces like Hicetnunc and never found anywhere else,” says Team Manila’s Jowee Alviar, referring to how NFT platforms on the Tezos blockchain show high levels of experimentation and a breadth of creativity from many artists not often found on other NFT platforms. “I am glad to be part of a competition that represents the best works and designs inspired by Philippine culture and showcase them to the global NFT community.”
“If anything, the competition has sparked interest for more local creatives to become aware of NFTs and the lucrative opportunity that is open for everybody. All they need to do is take that first step and try it,” Alviar added.
“Minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain typically cost less than 10 cents, making it a highly economical way for artists to experiment on the blockchain. Artists are able to mint a wider variety of works, experiment with prices and number of editions, so they can find the right formula that works for them. This is especially important for budding artists as it can provide a form of financial opportunity and support that may help them overcome any financial pressures they face,” says David Tng, Head of Growth at TZ APAC and one of the judges for the event.
#tezmasPH is one of the first activities of TZAPAC in its commitment to increase Tezos adoption in the Philippines.
“I am personally impressed with the level of talent of the Filipino artists minting their work on Tezos-powered NFT marketplaces,” says Katherine Ng, Head of Marketing at TZ APAC. “#tezmasPH is just the first step as we further commit to help grow the Tezos community in the Philippines through a combination of a hyperlocal approach and stakeholder collaboration. We will continue to support the growing number of Tezos Filipino artists and will soon hold dialogue with the developer community as well.” (PR)