The Korea Herald


Korean art master Park Seo-bo draws line at NFTs

By Park Yuna

Published : Nov. 12, 2021 - 15:16

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Park Seo-bo (Courtesy of the artist) Park Seo-bo (Courtesy of the artist)

South Korean art master Park Seo-bo confirmed that he would not allow his works to be produced as NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, stressing that digital art belongs to a new generation.

Park made his stance known on social media Thursday amid growing attention to the digital art trend, saying people had asked him whether he was interested in tokenizing his works. Park’s paintings are highly popular in the market, and some of his 1.3-meter-by-1.6-meter works have sold for more than 400 million won ($339,175).

“I belong to the age of materials. My works also are outcomes of this time and horizon. Paints, brushes and canvases are the medium of my artistic world. I have breathed with them and have lived my time faithfully. I have no intentions of going beyond the times that I do not know and have not reached to me,” he wrote.

NFTs are units of data stored on a digital ledger known as a blockchain. Each one is unique and acts as a digital certificate attesting to a work’s authenticity. Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain.

Park also expressed skepticism about the trend toward creating NFT art and displaying it in digital museums or virtual spaces.

“It is impossible for digital images created by taking pictures to be sold at soaring prices under the name of ‘irreplaceable’ while my paintings exist here in the real world. My painting itself is irreplaceable,” he added.

Born in 1931, Park pioneered Korean abstract art and dansaekhwa painting. On Oct. 22 he received the country’s highest cultural honor, the Geumgwan Order of Cultural Merit, in recognition of his contributions to Korean art.

He unveiled his early “Ecriture” series -- also known as “Pencil Ecriture” -- in 1966. This evolved into mid Ecriture in the 1970s and late Ecriture in the 2000s.

By Park Yuna (