Henrietta Tsui-Leung, the director of Hong Kong art gallery Ora-Ora, believes that NFTs are a global and cross-industrial movement which the art scene cannot ignore; so much so that her gallery was the first to present two series of NFT artworks at Art Basel last year—by contemporary artist Peng Jian and multimedia artist Cindy Ng when a lot of galleries were still hesitant to join the game.
She says that most of the skeptics are cautious about the breach of internet protocols (IPs) because there have been cases where images were stolen and used to mint NFTs before the original creators could. “But blockchains are not thieves. It’s about spending time and money to secure the IPs for their artworks,” says Tsui-Leung, who once accidentally gave away her seed phrase, which is similar to the password of a wallet, and led to the draining of her MetaMask. “It was a precious lesson learnt.”
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Moreover, as blockchain technology can prove the authenticity of a piece of art without the traditional investigation and verification by art galleries or agents, there are concerns about the possibility of NFTs replacing galleries' role in authenticating or setting up a market benchmark for artworks. But Tsui-Leung is quick to dismiss this; she believes that the role of a gallery can be a co-creator, curator, developer, marketer and distributor of NFTs for artists.