6 Korean celebrities who have entered the NFT world
By: Ha Rin Choi
March 3, 2022
The hype around NFTs (non-fungible tokens) carries from 2021 into 2022 and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down
Celebrities specifically are getting in on the NFT action. Here we take a look at some notable Korean stars who not only entered the metaverse realm but sold their own NFT artworks.
Actor Ha Jung-woo, the star in many hit movies including Along with the Gods, Tunnel and Ashfall, sold his NFT piece Marti Palace Hotel for US$47,600 last August in an auction. More impressively, another of his works titled, a to A – which was in a special edition format of selling 577 artworks within 12 hours – sold worth US$134,000 in total. The deals were made through Klip Drops where users can easily browse and purchase Klaytn-based digital artworks. Klaytn is an enterprise blockchain platform developed by South Korean internet provider Kakao – which is the most popular messenger app in South Korea, much like WhatsApp elsewhere.
Before entering the NFT world, Ha had a solo exhibition in 2010 featuring a collection of drawings he collected after graduating from university. This was the first time he shared the art pieces with the general public. During an interview with Esquire Korea, he opened up about his connection with drawings which helps him with his anxiety and impatience as an unknown actor.
Renowned K-drama actress, Ha Ji-won, also has entered the NFT world showcasing a range of her art pieces. Amazing her fans not only with her on-screen performances but also with her artistic skills. Last Christmas, the actress demonstrated how she converts one of her drawings into an NFT piece.
The digitalisation of Ha Ji-won’s drawing Gravity ver.2 was met with much astonishment. Organised by Berry Auction, before a select group of attendees, Ha started off by ripping her drawing into two pieces. One half would remain on display at the exhibition held by the auction house, whereas the other – torn off – half was digitised seconds later. In essence, Ha intended for half of the artwork to remain in the physical world, whereas the second half exist in the metaverse.
Actress Yun Songa broke the record by selling her NFT drawing for more than US$84,000. She exhibited her drawings of Camel and the Moon and Camel and the Sun to the NFT Busan 2021 auction, both of which were sold remarkably quickly.
These drawings by Yun Songa also appeared in the well-known K-drama It’s Okay, That’s Love in 2014. Jo In-sung, who starred as a mystery novelist and a DJ, hung up the drawings inside his bathroom in the show. They are known to be the pieces Yun Songa exhibited to Carrousel du Louvre Are Shopping in 2013 as the youngest Korean artist.
Koo Hye-sun is about to join the NFT world as well. On January 11th, the actress posted on her Instagram saying her NFT drawings will be unveiled with the collaboration with Meta Cats Universe. Meta Cats Universe is a powerful Korean NFT project with the astonishing profile of selling 6000 quantities in 13 seconds.
There will be ten drawings of Koo Hye-sun with the cat characters of Meta Cats Universe as a collaboration. Buyers can also use these NFT pieces on their SNS since they will be in PFP (Profile Photos) format.
K-pop’s 2nd generation singer Solbi also entered the NFT world. She uses differentiated techniques of using different parts of her body – as if it’s a brush. As a result, her NFT drawing Flower from Heaven was sold at US$16,700 last June, five times higher than the anticipated price. Last December, she also received the Grand Artist Award at The Premi Internacional d’Art de Barcelona.
She also warmed fans’ hearts by donating profits from crowdfunding, including her NFT auctions. Solbi has been in a close relationship with one of the Korean nursery schools called Kyeong Dong-Won since 2014 and donated her profits to help the institution and children there. According to her agency MAP Crew, Solbi decided to donate her earnings as a Childrens’ day present, considering teachers and students are having a difficult time due to Covid-19.
Korean actor Park Ki-woong – who starred in The King’s affection and Cheese in the Trap – also got the title of NFT artist. Earlier in 2021, he received the K-Art award through his portrait painting called Ego and was established as an artist. Three months after his debut as an artist, in June 2021, he held his second solo exhibition, Ki. Park – Re: +. He sold all 32 pieces of painting during the presentation.
After building up his portfolio as an artist, he entered the NFT world last June. The NFT auction was held through Bitberry Finance, and there were eight drawings, including one of his best drawings, Before Stage.