Liu Chunjie: The boundaries of art cannot be crossed. Be wary of “NFT fever for all people”

Recently, NBA Warriors star Stephen Curry spent about $180,000 to buy an NFT portrait, which once again set off the NFT craze.

On March 11, an NFT representing the ownership of the artist Beeple’s work “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” was sold at Christie’s auction house for a sky-high price of 69.346 million U.S. dollars, which caused a strong shock in the art circle. This auction has also become a new milestone in the history of art development.

On the one hand, Beeple’s sky-high auction at Christie’s makes people worry about whether this is a bubble or hype, thinking that it may only be a flash in the pan; on the other hand, the creative form and social model of NFT are very suitable for the current openness of encrypted art, community, and globalization. It has the conditions for long-term sustainable development.

The new art form based on blockchain technology has also attracted the attention of the traditional art circle. Liu Chunjie, dean of Nanjing Academy of Painting and Calligraphy, curator of Jinling Art Museum, and member of the Printmaking Art Committee of the Chinese Artists Association, has been following the development of NFT and thinking about how to combine these new technologies with Chinese traditional culture while avoiding its financial speculative attributes. The unfavorable consequences of coming.

“NFT art is very prosperous now, but it has just begun. It takes time to identify whether there is a bubble. A sustainable model that does not harm participants can achieve real development. If it is only for short-term withdrawal of money, it is to kill chickens and get eggs. It can’t be long.” Liu Chunjie said to Lianxin.

Don’t reject new things

“I haven’t been in contact with NFT before, and I haven’t had a very clear understanding of NFT. However, I will not reject new things either.” Liu Chunjie told Lianxin.

Recently, at the invitation of a long-time artist friend, Liu Chunjie began to have a strong interest in NFT, and agreed with the partner to try to NFT the hundreds of Lu Xun’s portraits he painted.

“Behind Lu Xun’s life, there are countless art works about him, and the woodcut illustrations of his works include tens of thousands of prints depicting him.” Liu Chunjie introduced to Lianxin.

Lu Xun has only lived for 56 years, but he has a wealth of life experience. He is not only a writer, but also a tutor of Chinese woodcutting. Because of his support and advocacy, woodcutting art was reborn. It is worth mentioning that this year marks the 140th anniversary of Lu Xun’s birth, the 85th anniversary of his death, and the 90th anniversary of Lu Xun’s advocacy of the emerging printmaking movement.

Liu Chunjie believes: “NFT does not simply put a work on the Internet, it still needs to be different from the original work, and it needs special features.”

Under the hot NFT boom, the way of creating works of art is also undergoing subtle changes. A group of digital artists, CG and game programmers, graphic and video photographers, etc. who have debuted from the social media circle. Their massive number of fans, the scale of their works, the speed and diversification of output far exceed the traditional meaning. “Artists” on the Internet. A new situation of “art for everyone, everyone can art” seems to be coming.

“Everyone can art. This view cannot be simply affirmed or denied. However, it is impossible for everyone to be an artist. Artists need to have unique ideas and unique insights.” Liu Chunjie said to Lianxin.

Liu Chunjie believes that art is not a fashionable slogan, nor is it the patent of a few people. It is a way different from rational thinking, different from scientific perceptual understanding and expressing the world. The concept of art is very broad and tolerant. It is not unattainable, nor is it a sacred temple.

“Everyone is a thinker. Everyone should have their own ideas, speak their own words, and make their own voices.” Liu Chunjie said frankly that he would like to see art go out of the study, out of the studio, and become art in public spaces.

NFT is difficult to subvert the power structure of the art circle in the short term

“Don’t say that now, art and technology have been related to each other a hundred years ago. Technology is a very important means, way, and medium to realize art.” Liu Chunjie said to Lianxin.

Art is inseparable from technology, and there is no art without technology. On a certain level, art develops and innovates under the evolution of technology.

NFT itself is a digital technology calculation, distribution and recording technology. It can create a set of independent digital folders for any entity that exists physically, and encrypt it into NFT through blockchain distributed ledger, smart contract and other technologies. Deposit evidence file. Each non-homogeneous token is different. Examples of non-homogeneous tokens can be artworks or games. Each instance of NFT is unique.

The existing consensus is that NFT will have a major impact on the traditional art market in two aspects: On the one hand, NFT has brought changes to artists’ creative methods, making it difficult for some artworks in the traditional art industry to be collected by non-institutions. It is easier to collect in the virtual world, for example, installation art is viewed and collected through VR technology.

On the other hand, the characteristics of NFT without borders and easy transactions also greatly increase the liquidity of digital art transactions. The formation of the blockchain organization form DAO enables high-priced artworks to be jointly held by members of a collection group, bringing new vitality to its sustainable development.

So, does the application of NFT technology in the field of art mean that the art world will devolve the right to speak? In the art ecology, will those so-called independent curators gradually be eliminated?

“In different eras and different industries, fairness and unfairness are relative. An artist’s right to speak is closely related to his own influence. It has always been the shop bullying the customer and the customer bullying the shop.” Liu Chunjie told Lianxin.

In fact, the existing platforms do not have clear dominance and absolute right to speak. The decentralization of the right to speak also requires a process, which means that it is difficult for the NFT to subvert the original power structure in the short term.

Be wary of “NFT fever for all people”

The beauty of NFT is that anyone and any product can directly participate in the transaction. At present, many internationally renowned artists, even large multinational galleries and auction companies, have entered the vast new market of NFT.

On March 11th, Christie’s held the first auction of NFT artworks in history. Beeple’s “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” sold for nearly $70 million, becoming the third highest auction price of a living artist’s work. This transaction caused great waves in the currency circle, the art world, and the financial world.

On the whole, there are still divergent opinions on the investment prospects of NFTs from all walks of life at this stage.

In the short term, it may be difficult for more people to accept new NFT artworks. Since there are no established standards and rules, it will inevitably become an amusement park for a few capitals in the early stage.

However, in the future, will it become a favorite collection of a new generation of collectors? No one can predict. Perhaps, as the traditional industries involved in NFT continue to increase, there will be a “national NFT fever”.

“There is nothing wrong with the financialization of art, but you cannot deceive others. In the NFT design process, you cannot set up traps and traps, otherwise it will be a thunderstorm, such as the P2P of the year.” Liu Chunjie said to Lianxin.

“NFT art is very prosperous now, but it has just begun. It takes time to identify whether there is a bubble. A sustainable model that does not harm participants can achieve real development. If it is only for short-term withdrawal of money, it is to kill chickens and get eggs. It can’t be long,” Liu Chunjie said.

It is worth noting that NFT is not a panacea. The phenomenon of piracy in traditional art also appears in the field of NFT. To make matters worse, the infringement of encryption art is no longer just the infringement on the surface of the image, but the infringement of the intellectual property rights of the deeper source code.

“Piracy will always exist, what to do? Artists must insist on protecting their rights and don’t be afraid of trouble.” Liu Chunjie recalled that he had fought two infringement lawsuits and achieved good results.

Art is the stage of life

At the moment, there is no authoritative certification body that has the final say on what is art. From a historical perspective, art is exploring a new possibility and a breakthrough in aesthetic concepts in human history.

Liu Chunjie was born in 1965 and has been working for 36 years. Whether he is a middle school teacher, newspaper editor, reporter, or current art management position, he has never stopped creating works. The creation of Liu Chunjie is actually a sketch against the stage of life. People of all colors dance and improvise. If you find it interesting, just write it down.

Liu Chunjie’s works make woodblock prints participate in the construction of the spirit of the times with the simple taste of “wood” and “knife”. His works have won the Excellent Works Award of the Fifth Kochi International Printmaking Triennial, the Gold Award of the Japan International Printmaking Association, the Excellence Award of the 20th National Printmaking Exhibition, and the “Xu Zhimo Art Award” of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Currently, Liu Chunjie’s positions include the dean of Nanjing Academy of Painting and Calligraphy, the curator of Jinling Art Museum, the member of the Printmaking Art Committee of the Chinese Artists Association, the visiting professor of the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the vice president of the International Printmaking Research Institute of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

“Combining life, work, and career together, I am fortunate to find the direction of my life.” Liu Chunjie said.

Today, a new generation is leading the new era of aesthetics. Technological advancements such as AI, VR, and AR will bring enrichment of styles, evolution of aesthetics, and creativity of concepts, which are expected to greatly promote the development and evolution of art. At the same time, in response to the popular phenomenon of NFT, mainstream criticism and doubts in the art circle have been rising one after another.

In Liu Chunjie’s view, art has boundaries and is insurmountable. “The difference between art and technology is natural and obvious. Technology is technology, and art achieves artistic goals through technical means.”

Liu Chunjie firmly believes in the role of human beliefs, knowledge, and emotions in art, but he is also happy to see new technical tools being used in artistic creation. Wang Dali said, “Countless people, endless distances, are all related to me.” Said to Xiaoli, “I finally didn’t watch this incident, and I finally didn’t become a spectator.”


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