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Digital art is rising in Pakistan. Is it the next big thing or just another bubble?

Digital art is rising in Pakistan. Is it the next big thing or just another bubble?

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Abdal Mufti, a self taught artist based in Pakistan uses art to tell stories. He combines animations and 2D illustrations with an audio component which provides quite an experience for the viewers. He focuses on telling stories that are embedded in the social fabric of society which need to be highlighted. With a degree in Economics, Abdal heads the Research and Policy wing at School Education Punjab. By profession, he’s a consultant but clearly has a knack for art. He’s also worked with two time Oscar winner, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for one of her animated films. Although he joined Instagram in 2017, he still managed to accumulate over 140,000 followers indicating he’s one of the rising talents of the country.  

According to him, modern visual art manifests itself through various ideas, themes, mediums and sheer imagination. Incorporating all these principles allows audiences to search for meanings behind each artwork which is essentially the aim.  

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Abdal Mufti (@abdalmufti)

Abdal is one of the very few artists who has launched an NFT in Pakistan.

An NFT is a non-fungible token that represents a unique digital item and thus, isn’t interchangeable. Traditional paintings are valuable because they’re one of a kind. Online, things can easily be duplicated. An NFT solves this problem. By buying an NFT, artwork can be ‘tokenized’ to create a digital certificate that can be bought and sold. The buyer of the NFT owns a token to prove that they own the ‘original’ work. Thus, they’re proving to be a revolution in the digital art world since they provide an opportunity for someone to own an art piece online.

The world is now witnessing a new genre of art and new ways to claim them. You can also just consider an NFT an investment. Some have already sold for millions of dollars proving they can be lucrative. The NFT craze has helped boost the value of ethereum, the cryptocurrency whose blockchain network is used for a large number of NFT transactions.

On 19 February, an animated Gif of Nyan Cat – a 2011 meme of a flying pop-tart cat – sold for more than $500,000. There was even a skit about NFTs on ‘Saturday Night Live’.

An NFT can only be bought using cryptocurrency. So it comes as no surprise that only a few Pakistanis are aware of them. Cryptocurrency isn’t illegal in Pakistan however it isn’t officially regulated either. As of 16 January 2021, the State Bank of Pakistan has not authorized any individuals or organizations to carry out the sale, purchase, exchange, and investment of virtual currencies, coins, and tokens. 

The world is advancing technologically. On the contrary, Pakistan is lagging behind because of our outdated concepts and lack of resources. Time will tell how much of a bubble is an NFT and to what extent will we progress in terms of investing in crypto. But for now, it’s important to support artists such as Abdal Mufti and others who are pushing the barrier. They’re the few artists in Pakistan who are taking initiative of introducing crypto art in the country to enable Pakistan to reach the same heights as other countries. 

You can check out Abdals NFT by clicking here


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