Artist Drue Kataoka will public sale her first NFT, with all proceeds going to Asian American causes • TechCrunch


Drue Kataoka’s artwork has made it to collections in 30 international locations — and even the Worldwide House Station. Now the artist, activist and current face of Clubhouse’s app icon is releasing her first NFT to assist Asian American causes. The public sale will start on digital artwork market Nifty Gateway at 1:30 p.m. EST, Might 13, alongside with a launch party on Clubhouse, and run for twenty-four hours. Nifty Gateway is waiving its public sale charges, and all proceeds will go to the Catalyst Fund for Justice (CFJ), the grant-making arm of Stand with Asian Americans, a coalition of enterprise leaders and activists partnered with the Asian Pacific Fund.

Kataoka is thought for commissioned artworks like mirror-polished metal sculptures and artwork that makes use of digital actuality, EEG and cellular expertise. One in all her items, “Up!,” created with Sumi-e ink on mounted rice paper, was part of the first zero-gravity art exhibit at the International Space Station. She can be an activist and organizer, and has raised a complete of just about $300,000 by means of Clubhouse for #StopAsianHate, #Clubhouse4India and #24HoursofLove for The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the nonprofit began in 1968 by Coretta Scott King.

Referred to as “Within the Membership: #StopAsianHate,” Kataoka’s NFT was impressed by activist communities on Clubhouse, the place Kataoka leads the Artwork Membership, one of many app’s greatest artwork teams with 102,000 followers.

“I’ve been enthusiastic about leveraging Clubhouse as a medium for social change,” Kataoka stated. For this undertaking, “we need to fireplace on all cylinders, not simply solely philanthropy or not simply solely artwork, however each of these on the highest degree to essentially serve a objective and create probably the most impression that we presumably can for the Asian American group.”

Kataoka is the founder and chief govt officer of Drue Kataoka Studios, which creates items that convey collectively influences from Zen Buddhism, her coaching in Sumi-e ink portray and Silicon Valley. As an alternative of artwork college, Kataoka went to Stanford College as a result of she wished to find out about tech, like digital and augmented actuality, methods to code and enterprise fundamentals.

“My mantra for the previous 20 years has been that artwork is expertise and expertise is artwork,” she advised TechCrunch.

For her “genesis drop,” or first NFT launch, Kataoka wished “to be very considerate concerning the first undertaking I did, and I’m excited that it is going to be this one. I’ve been watching the house very rigorously and I’m very bullish on crypto and NFTs. I do know there’s plenty of volatility and lots of issues that can fall away and never stand the take a look at of time, however finally as a mechanism for creativity and so many necessary issues, this would be the manner of the longer term.”

Eric Kim, co-chair of Stand with Asian Individuals’ Catalyst Fund for Justice, stated “the truth that Drue is keen to donate 100% of the proceeds to go in the direction of the AAPI group is admittedly, actually significant. I believe it’s additionally an attractive expression of blockchain expertise.”

Kim, who can be co-founder and managing accomplice of enterprise agency Goodwater Capital, added, “I’ve been looking for the very best product market match of the blockchain and thru this undertaking — digital artwork being captured, codified, securitized in non-fungible tokens, after which being utilized for the group, launched on Clubhouse even, and auctioned by means of a platform like Nifty Gateway — it is likely one of the finest functions of blockchain I’ve ever seen and an incredible coordination of a number of shopper tech platforms.”

About one-minute lengthy, “Within the Membership: #StopAsianHate” options a picture of a Clubhouse room superimposed over a gold-colored background. Consumer pictures have been eliminated and a sequence of shifting shapes, sculpted by Kataoka in digital actuality, will be seen by means of the remaining areas. On the identical time, chanting from a current road protest is performed, overlaid on a recording of Kataoka’s personal heartbeat. On the finish, the sounds fade into wind, symbolizing air, or qi, chi, ki or prana, an important drive in lots of Asian cultures.

“It’s a tribute to the entire activists and group members who’ve actually put plenty of perception and religion into this motion and who had been talking out about these points very early on. One of many issues that I really feel is disturbing is that mainstream media has both turned a blind eye or sugarcoated plenty of the hate crimes happening in our group and plenty of large points for the Asian American group,” stated Kataoka. “With Clubhouse, it’s fully unfiltered and uncensored, and really early on, final yr in 2020, I used to be internet hosting and listening to these conversations. We had been having severe conversations that actually began to take off and collect momentum synergistically with Twitter, that a number of the mainstream information retailers weren’t all for on the time.”

Kim stated the Catalyst Fund for Justice will use a data-driven strategy to discovering grant recipients. Initially, it’s going to give attention to lowering hate crimes and supporting victims; office discrimination; the dearth of Asian American illustration in politics; and supporting underfunded nonprofits. Some targets embrace introducing extra Asian American historical past into academic curriculums, understanding how office bias prevents extra Asian Individuals from being promoted into management roles and growing the variety of Asian Individuals in civic organizations.

After the Atlanta shootings, Kim started working with enterprise capitalists, together with his co-founder at Goodwater Chi-Hua Chien, GGV managing accomplice Hans Tung and Lightspeed Enterprise accomplice Jeremy Liew, elevating $5 million from a collective of main VCs to donate to AAPI organizations.

“Popping out of that heightened consciousness and activation, enterprise leaders, entrepreneurs and traders began pondering, how can we do that extra systematically and apply our skilled talent units to this motion,” Kim stated.

Stand with Asian Individuals was the results of these kind of discussions, and on the finish of March, the coalition outlined its mission in a full-page Wall Street Journal ad co-signed by enterprise and political leaders together with Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Wang, Sew Repair co-founder and CEO Katrina Lake and former governor of Washington and United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. Stand with Asian Individuals is partnered with the Asian Pacific Fund, one of many Bay Space’s most tenured AAPI nonprofits, and launched the Catalyst Fund for Justice as its grant-making arm to harness the ability of what’s now almost 8,000 signatories and over 100 devoted volunteers.

In a press release, Asian Pacific Fund president and govt director Audrey Yamamoto stated, “Drue Kataoka’s beneficiant donation of her Genesis NFT drop means the world to the AAPI group as we proceed to dwell in concern of violence and hate each time we depart our houses. The Catalyst Fund for Justice will faucet into new sources of funding and use a data-driven strategy to make grants that really transfer the needle on addressing the best injustices confronted by our AAPI group.”





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