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Daily DripArt & Design

Pop Star Edison Chen Drops CNY-Inspired NFT Collection

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On Tuesday, Chinese-Canadian pop star and creative entrepreneur Edison Chen dropped a new collection of NFTs for Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year).

The project name, ‘Red NVLPE,‘ refers to the red envelopes — known in Chinese as hongbao (红包) — traditionally exchanged during holidays in China. Each digital envelope contains a randomly selected NFT artwork from one of eight acclaimed artists or groups.

The collection is available in a limited edition of 8,888 pieces, likely referencing the auspicious meaning of the number eight (lucky and well-off) in Chinese culture. Alibaba chose the same number for its release of Beijing Olympics-themed NFT pins.

Each piece costs 0.1888 Ethereum (ETH), with payment accepted exclusively through Metamask, a digital cryptocurrency wallet that operates on the Ethereum blockchain.

It was released by self-described “WEB3 studio” 2426C, which Chen himself launched. According to its website, the studio aims to “bridge the gaps between East and West, digital and physical, virtual and reality.”

Based on a series of preview posts shown on 2426C’s Instagram, the esthetic of the NVLPE collection appears to incorporate Chinese elements.

The color palette includes shades of red and gold, which are traditionally seen during the Lunar New Year, and the design features red lanterns and clouds, similar to those in traditional Chinese paintings.

The eight contributing creatives include tattoo artist Dr. Woo, a collab between creative studio The Heart Project and Chen’s fashion brand Emotionally Unavailable, Xin Yu of the high-end art collective Objective Collectibles, illustrator Sandra Jockus, musician James Fauntleroy, fashion label CLOT, and Chen’s ALIENEGRA X EDC. 

Dr. Woo (Brian Woo) is a Chinese-American tattoo artist who has inked celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Miley Cyrus. He has also collaborated with high fashion brand Jean-Paul Gautier and collectible toy brand [email protected].

Woo’s artwork for NVLPE is a red and gold tiger to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Tiger.

Xin Yu is a Chinese-American architect turned model and visual artist. For NVLPE, she created ‘Meow Universe,’ a series of quirky cats holding lucky Chinese characters such as rich (fu 富) and love (ai 爱).

Last but not least, Chen created ‘ALIENEGRA,’ a series he describes on the 2426C website as “an autobiographical look into his true alien form.”

Authorities in China have partially warmed up to the idea of NFTs, with state-owned Xinhua News Agency releasing its own NFT collection last December.

The Chinese government is taking preliminary steps to support NFTs by creating a domestic infrastructure that is not linked to cryptocurrencies, which are banned in China. So far, NFTs in the country are only purchasable with Chinese currency and cannot be resold.

So while the NVLPE collection is potentially appealing to Chinese audiences, it’s technically not purchasable in the Chinese market due to the Ethereum price tag.

Cover image via Twitter

Beatrice Tamagno
Beatrice is a graduate student in sociology at Fudan University in Shanghai. Her writings have appeared on SupChina and ChinaNauts, an online magazine she co-founded with fellow researchers from Fudan. When she is not researching gender in contemporary China, you will find her playing mahjong or binging Chinese TV shows.
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