Chivas’ New Initiative Enables a New Generation of NFT Artists To Grow

MOJOKO’s NFTs defy naysayers’ belief that the digital medium will diminish the prestige of art with its accessibility.

May 12, 2022 | By Joseph Low

What keeps Chivas at the top of its game? It is the brand’s continuous push for innovation and to keep itself up-to-date on the happenings around the world. For a few months, the topics surrounding NFT and sustainability have been the talk of the town and Chivas has aptly inserted itself into this conversation. As part of its new initiative to engage with the NFT community and artists, the Scotch whisky brand has invited a group of creatives to showcase their works at its latest pop up called “I Rise We Rise”.

Among the NFT artists invited is MOJOKO, a British-born artist known for his work inspired by B-movies, trash TV, and alternative culture. To showcase his artworks, MOJOKO uses a range of mediums including digital tools; hence, NFTs are a natural progression of his artistic endeavour. To him, NFTs help artists earn a living via their own crafts and eliminate the need for third parties like galleries while also reducing any possible wastages.

Ahead, we spoke with MOJOKO about his latest artwork for Chivas’ “I Rise We Rise” initiative, the platform and the future of NFTs.

Hi MOJOKO, could you tell us the inspiration behind your latest NFT creation, “Night Vision?”

Night Vision, MOJOKO
“Night Vision” by MOJOKO. Image: MOJOKO

The artwork is inspired by the idea of “precognition”, the psychic phenomenon of seeing into the future; and “recognition”, seeing things from the past. I often remix past and future elements to create a hybrid fantasy world — the Mojokoworld.

Bringing contrasting ideas to the forefront has been the theme for most of your artworks, how does this translate into “Night Vision” and what is the message you wish to bring across?

The mix of contrasting ideas is very experimental and hopefully leads to a fresh outcome. In the same way a musician tries to harmonise different influences in search of a new sound, there are moments of harmony and conflict. A direct reflection of living in the modern world.

How do you see yourself represented as an NFT artist in Chivas’ “I Rise, We Rise” initiative?

NFT Gallery at the Chivas “I Rise We Rise” pop-up.

It’s very flattering to be asked to be showcased in this event, in a new era of Chivas.

In your opinion, what do you think is art now? And how has its definition changed over the years, especially with the rise of NFTs?

Art is and always has been a form of expression: a way to explore new worlds, new ideas and emotions. It has evolved just like everything over history and NFTs are merely a new way of declaring provenance. It is technology that is changing the way people create and consume art, but in essence art has not changed. The ability to build sound into artworks and motion and interactivity are what is changing some aspects of art.

Traditionally, art appreciation has been mostly associated with the wealthy, but the rise of NFTs has made art more accessible. Does that mean that art is no longer as exclusive as before?

I think street art and comic book culture are more responsible for making art more accessible. NFTs could potentially bring a new audience to art appreciation but it is still very niche. Do we consider films art? Video games? Fashion? I think if we consider these art forms, then yes, art is no longer exclusive to the elite.

You are not unfamiliar with using digital tools when creating your artworks, would you think creating NFTs is a natural progression in your career?

Yes, I am very interested in using digital tools to create art — the introduction of NFT technology is a way of making it sustainable. For example in the past, artists who were making experimental animation, or coded and screen-based artworks have never been able to sell their work. Unlocking this ability has enabled more creators to live from their craft, finding new ways to earn a living from their art.

“I Rise, We Rise” is a new initiative by Chivas to celebrate and elevate the next generation of hustlers forging their own paths to success, why do you think this is important for artists like you who are venturing into NFTs?

I Rise We Rise event space
Image: Chivas

I think big names like Chivas help to make this new realm familiar. Perhaps endorsing the activities mentioned and actively promoting them invites comfort and familiarity to a new audience. So yes, it most certainly is valuable to us as artists trying to forge ahead into unchartered territories.

It must have been a great honour to be working with Chivas, how did you feel when you were invited to join the group of NFT artists?

Yes, it’s very flattering to be asked to be showcased in this event.

The Chivas “I Rise We Rise” pop-up is happening now till 18 May, register your interest here.

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