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TheUpsideSpace: The Curator-Led NFT Marketplace that Champions Asian and Middle Eastern Artworks

December 28, 2022

December 28, 2022

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By using Web3 technology to make artistic expressions accessible to global audiences, this digital space is geared to refresh and modernize the vital components of the art world.

You’ll never look at digital art the same way again. Set to reimagine a fair, accessible, and engaging art ecosystem, TheUpsideSpace, pioneers a new and impactful digital curatorial experience that champions representation and simplifies the purchasing process for collectors worldwide.

Through this curator-led NFT marketplace, artworks and artists from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East take the spotlight – providing the world with a fresh perspective from a variety of backgrounds, including that of traditional curators, gallerists, and other guest curators hailing from the music, fashion, and art and media industries.

Here’s How TheUpsideSpace Came To Realization

Conceptualized by cofounders Lisa Ray and Ayesha Khan, TheUpsideSpace is rooted in the desire to elevate the profiles of artists from their homelands as well as other regions that are often overlooked in the global art conversation. Internationally recognized for her multifaceted career in the entertainment industry, Lisa has long nurtured a passion for contemporary arts. In fact, at the age of 16, she spent her first paycheck on artwork – and since then, she has been massively growing her collection. On the other hand, Ayesha has long established a career as an art collector, philanthropist, and accredited antique appraiser.

As Lisa puts it: “From canvas to pixels, artists have always embraced innovation to allow their practice to evolve. We see NFTs and blockchain as the tools to deliver breakthrough impact for artistic expression. We also recognize the vital role of community engagement and education. TheUpsideSpace welcomes crypto natives and newbies alike. The world is changing, the form is changing, but we place creativity at the wheel. For this reason and more, we see nothing but an Upside.”

Knowing the power of storytelling through art, TheUpsideSpace then partners with a diverse portfolio of Curators, who reflect unique cultural insights and perspectives through their exhibitions, fostering NFT art appreciation for both art aficionados and novices while ensuring that the soul and purpose of the art are bolstered and not lost, by the power of cutting-edge technology.

Knowing how complicated the buying purchase has been to art lovers, the UpsideSpace offers a simplified process that ensures a frictionless and accessible tech experience. Curators use their expertise to simplify and declutter the NFT art space and present their artworks in context, thereby providing a solution to enduring problems in the traditional art system, such as royalties, provenance, and authenticity. Through this platform, buyers can now connect their existing wallets to the digital space. And of course, payment through numerous cryptocurrencies is widely accepted. For more traditional collectors, fiat payments are also accepted via debit and credit cards.

According to Ayesha, “Conventional art systems can be opaque, elitist, and difficult to navigate, and are long overdue a major shift. At TheUpsideSpace, we believe that removing geographical and physical boundaries for art can evoke high points of human creativity.”

The Creative Process of TheUpsideSpace

For every exhibition, Curators will work with traditional visual artists who are looking for an opportunity to break into the world of NFT art, as well as artists who are already creating NFT art with digital tools. Once selected, artists can have the opportunity to tap into the knowledge and support of the TheUpsideSpace team to assist with the conceptualization of their pieces as NFTs and get into the Web3 space to propel their work in the global realm. Through this, artists get to reach new audiences from different parts of the world.

Through this process, artists will be carefully mentored and guided through the ecosystem – making their entry into the digital world seamless and impactful. By doing so, TheUpsideSpace gets to introduce fresh perspectives and highlight the importance of diversity and democracy.

TheUpsideSpace Launching: Curators and Artists

The opening lineup of Curators at TheUpsideSpace includes Kelly Dorji of Bhutan, Myna Mukherjee of India, the Morrow Collective of the UAE, Omar Nabi of Pakistan, Bali-based Bandana Tewari, and TO NEW ENTITIES of Singapore.

With over 80 artists who dared to explore and creatively interpret ideas of home and belonging, beauty and perception, and the playful divine through works by established artists and emerging talents, the opening exhibition of TheUpsideSpace spanned through 8 curatorial themes. Ranbir Singh Kaleka, known for his collections displayed at the Singapore Museum, Asia Society New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, will create and mint his first NFT with TheUpsideSpace.

Also showcasing his work is the renowned Iraqi-origin artist, Halim Al Karim, whose works are included in the Saatchi Collection in London, L’institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, and the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art in Doha. He is one of the six artists whose work was featured in the Iraqi Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, the first Iraqi Pavilion in 36 years.

Aside from the much-awaited collaboration with eDao (Media and Entertainment DAO), TheUpsideSpace was also pleased to have on its board the founding director of the Delfina Foundation and jury member for the Turner Prize 2021, Aaron Cezar.

As a prelude to its official launch, TheUpsideSpace recently held a phygital exhibition, The Brilliant Resilient: Sri Lanka’s First Curated NFT Digital Art Exhibition. This was co-hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner, David McKinnon. The event caused a stir in the Sri Lankan arts and collectors community because it championed the country’s creative community during a time of intense crisis.

Interested in the arts and planning to expand your NFT collection? The Upside Space’s diverse collection catalog of curators and artists can be found here.

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