Launched on 6 May 2022, MetaJam Asia 2022 is Singapore’s first digital art and experiential event that’s jointly organised by Chain Debrief, INVADE, and Kult.
The three-month long event features activities, showcases, and discussions surrounding NFTs, and will culminate in a three-day summit in July, and a two-day GameFi Asia event.
“We want to educate the Web 2.5 people about NFTs, so the event is actually geared towards people who don’t know where to start when it comes to the NFT space. But for those who already understand what NFTs are about, it’s a gathering spot for them to meet other creators,” said Jacky Yap, founder of Chain Debrief, at the media preview of the event held last week.
Understanding the rise of NFTs
The first part of the exhibition features the history and facts of NFTs – how they came to be, how they work, and their rise to prominence in today’s world.
This portion of the exhibition is geared towards newcomers to the NFT scene. Those who are unfamiliar with what NFTs are can better understand how and why NFTs are more than just images on the internet, and why they represent the future of creative endeavours.
There is information on how NFTs are different from basic JPEGs, news clips of NFTs, explanations of NFT jargons, a video explanation of NFTs as well as blockchain fundamentals.
There are two halves to this portion of the exhibition: FUNDAMETAs, which is an experiential space dedicated to the features that make NFTs unique; and META of Facts, which is a hallway with NFT facts, historical milestones, and other nuggets of information about NFTs.
The exhibition itself is interactive, allowing visitors to use a ‘magnifying glass’ to view the underlying code behind the NFTs on display. The hallway also has motion sensors, which light up certain blocks on the wall to reveal facts and quotes about NFTs.
Hands-on creation: Making your own NFTs
This interactivity is just the start. As we progress through the festival, the interactive components become increasingly important.
After learning about the basics of NFTs and how they work, MetaJam offers visitors the ability to create their very own NFTs at the Token Jam area.
All visitors are provided with a template of a simple outline of a profile picture, along with art materials such as colour pencils, markers, stickers and more, which they can use to accessorise, design, and customise their own NFT.
Once complete, these designs can then be uploaded online. These new NFT creators can also set their own prices, number of copies, and royalties on the design.
Besides giving an easy breakdown on how NFTs are created, this section also features educational content on the real-world value of NFTs and cryptocurrency wallets.
Exploring the work of other NFT artists
MetaJam also promised visitors that they would be able to see exhibits from prominent NFT artists and content creators during the festival, and they did not disappoint.
After visitors have finished their NFTs, they can progress into the fourth segment of MetaJam: the Jam Session. Here, the variety and definitions of NFT are stretched to their limits. This section shows that NFTs can go beyond just visual art – it can also come in the form of fashion, music, games, and much more.
Visitors are free to explore the various artworks by NFT creators. Works include fashion NFTs from creative DAO and decentralised fashion brand MIRL, as well as local comic artist Mr Kiasu.
The displays are both physical and digital, with screens showing NFT collections such as Karafuru and Enlightened Rats, alongside physical displays from Klosh and GRAYCRAFT.
There is also a physical display of an NFT dress – made from used 4D tickets – by Migrants NFT. It is intended to raise awareness of the plight of migrant workers in Singapore, and proceeds from this collection are channelled into future funding for NFT projects involving migrant workers.
In addition, there are also screens displaying online concerts hosted in Decentraland by Bandwagon Asia, which features a game-fi space, courtesy of Salad Ventures..
Becoming an NFT
While these events allow visitors to better understand and explore the world of NFTs, they pale in comparison to the final section of the festival – the experiential section.
Here, visitors can actually interact with NFTs and the technology that surrounds them. There is an interactive display that turns visitors into a pixelated version of themselves, much like how NFTs first gained popularity as profile pictures.
Another display allows visitors to interact with an on-screen ape that imitates their movements, inspired by designs from top-selling NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club.
There is also a scanner for those who are more design-inclined, to upload their own artwork onto an interactive screen for all to see. Visitors can colour and scan drawings, which will then be uploaded onto an interactive screen where they will be flying around in spaceships – a reference to the #tothemoon trend for crypto and NFT investors.
There is even an amphitheatre for panellists and visitors to engage in discussions and exchange ideas, coupled with tablets for visitors to engage in various workshops that MetaJam has arranged.
To top it all off, MetaJam has its own merchandise shop on the second floor that carries shirts and towels for purchase. The shirts are produced by Pestle and Mortar Co, and prefabricated shirts with custom artwork from MetaJam partners Karafuru, Tiger Archives, and WonderPals are also available.
Unlike other festival shops, MetaJam’s shop has something to match the imagination and creativity of NFTs – customisable T-shirt printing, available for NFT holders, that can be printed and collected on the spot.
As a festival, MetaJam has much to offer, both for veterans of the NFT space, as well as newcomers and novices. The activities allow everyone to learn about the underlying technology and nuances of NFTs, and combine their own creativity with the technology.
As Singapore’s first festival for NFTs, MetaJam has set the bar for what such an event can be: interactive, educational, and inclusive.
Featured Image Credit: MetaJam Asia 2022