Africa Press Releases

aespa and artist Blake Kathryn create first-of-its-kind NFT collection

connecting dotts and INVNT.ATOM™ bring artists together for a Limited Edition NFT Drop and Auction, Available Exclusively through Sotheby’s Metaverse

Singapore, Oct. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — aespa, the massively popular and future forward female K-Pop group from SM Entertainment, which includes four real members as well as their respective online avatars, is joining forces with visual artist and NFT queen Blake Kathryn, to launch an exclusive NFT collection. The collection marks the world’s first collaboration between a K-pop group and a global NFT artist and will be available from Thursday, October 13, 5pm EST to Friday, October 21, 11am EST through Sotheby’s Metaverse. This collaboration was jointly facilitated by connecting dotts, an APAC/U.S. strategy agency connecting brands, consumers, talent and content creators and INVNT.ATOM™ , a global innovative brand experience agency at the forefront of the digital frontier.

Each piece of artwork in the æ girls NFT collection incorporates the personality, elements and signature identity of each band member and their avatars; perfectly combined with surreal futurist aesthetics of Blake Kathryn’s work, creating the ultimate collaboration between the artists. The ambience used is specially composed for this collection by SM Entertainment.

The æ girls NFT collection includes a 3-part series:

  • MY Pass – Open edition NFT, an access key for any fan and collector. Each MY Pass comes with a free NFT from a collection of 16 different works that are specially personalized and prepared by each member of aespa.
  • Altars – A total of 32 Special and Limited Editions, four (4) fine art executions of each aespa member created in editions of eight (8). Each digital artwork embodies their iconography, aespa metaverse world, KWANGYA aesthetics, and includes utilities such as a GLB file, and a personalized recording by each aespa member talking about the collaborative artwork. Edition 01 of each Altars series will go to the highest bidder and also include a signed autograph print by the members and Blake Kathryn.
  • Dreamspace – Super exclusive single edition 1:1 artwork that is an environmental reflection of each aespa member. This artwork offers the ultimate fan experience that includes a GLB file, a video recording of aespa and Blake Kathryn talking about the artwork, a virtual meet-and-greet with Blake Kathryn, and an all expenses paid meet-and-greet with aespa in Seoul at their concert along with a physical print signed by each aespa member + Blake Kathryn.

The æ girls collection will be open to all buyers and bidders, with each series available between a 48 hour time period throughout the week-long auction. Bidding can be done via credit card, not just cryptocurrency. MY Pass and Limited Edition NFTs will be available at a fixed rate. Sotheby’s, the world’s premier destination for art and luxury, will host a preview exhibition of all the digital artwork in Hong Kong alongside highlights from Sotheby’s Fall 2022 sales series, including Modern & Contemporary Art from October 2nd – 9th, followed by an exhibition in Sotheby’s galleries in New York from October 13th – 20th.

“From the beginning, aespa has been a very future forward group, embracing technology and the metaverse with creativity and as a core part of their identity, and their fans have responded enthusiastically. This æ girls collection, beautifully created in collaboration with Blake Kathryn, one of the most prominent female artists working in Web3, further extends, cultivates and expands aespa’s web3 community, ” said SM Entertainment.

“It was a pleasure to collaborate with aespa on this first-of-its-kind NFT collection,” said Blake Kathryn. “This release is an authentic reflection of Karina, Winter, Giselle and Ningning and captures the unique essence and qualities of each of these powerful women. My hope is that it reflects female artists pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, blurring the lines between real and virtual to create a new kind of fandom.”

“The adaptability of NFTs has opened up many new avenues for communities of collectors and fans to connect with their favorite artists and musicians. This collaboration between aespa and the artist Blake Kathryn represents the best of how digital art and NFTs can bring together physical and virtual worlds to present fans with a special experience that is only possible with NFTs, and we are thrilled to offer this sale at Sotheby’s Metaverse,” said Michael Bouhanna, Sotheby’s Head of NFTs and Digital Art.

“There is no more powerful cultural force than K-pop at the moment,” said Rita Magnus, Managing Director of connecting dotts. “The æ girls collection will introduce this passionate fandom to the world of Web3, giving fans an entirely new way to connect with their favorite band. Bridging these worlds together with talent like aespa and Blake has been a remarkable first.”

Elvin Tan, Managing Director INVNT.ATOM, said, “We’re incredibly proud that INVNT.ATOM has led the strategy, creative, design, content, artist and auction house management, as well as the marketing campaign execution. This collaboration puts storytelling front and center; extending the world of art and music from the physical to new realities – an exciting new frontier for all fans. We believe this is the perfect introduction for K-Pop fans to enter Web3, the metaverse and beyond.”

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About aespa

aespa is SM Entertainment’s fierce new all-female foursome, who, in an unprecedented debut move surpassed 100 million views on their debut video, “Black Mamba,” (the record fastest for any debut K-Pop video in YouTube history). They debuted atop charts in 95 countries upon launch, most notably Billboard Global Excl. US at No. 100 within just 3 days of being accounted for, marking the highest ranking of any K-pop female group’s debut song. The femme powerhouse of KARINA, WINTER, GISELLE and NINGNING also include their avatars— a story-telling concept that drew those 100 million views to a single video in 51 days.

Combine “ae” (avatar and experience) + “aspect”, and you get aespa, moving in between reality and virtual reality, with the avatars representing their counterparts. Each avatar, called “ae,” are created from each member’s personal data in a virtual world and can be “rekalled” into the real world. aespa, in ethos and function, represents something different.

Their recent debut EP, “Savage” entered at no. 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest ranking ever for a K-pop girl group’s debut on the U.S. album chart. The six-track EP, led by the title track “Savage,” also ranked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Selling Album chart, rounding off a remarkable fortnight which also saw “Savage” hit No.1 on iTunes’ Top Albums chart in 20 countries upon release. Leaning into their individuality, they are unapologetically confident (with a stake in sci-fi world) and have industry insiders eager to wager that they will be the girl group to watch in 2022. Beyond praise from Forbes, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, Flaunt, and more, TIME touted them among “The Next Generation Leaders, Class of 2022” and Forbes Asia recognized them in their “30 Under 30” list for 2022. They have been named global ambassadors for both Chopard and Givenchy. Most recently named as Apple Music’s Global Up Next

artist artist for June 2022, the quartet recently released the single “Life’s Too Short” and EP, ”Girls” – The 2nd Mini Album via Warner Records.

About SM Entertainment

SM Entertainment Co., Ltd. is Korea’s largest entertainment company founded in 1995 by producer Soo-Man Lee, widely known as the “Founder of K-pop.” The company has developed and popularized numerous K-pop stars with huge global fandoms and is known for having led the global K-pop phenomenon of “Hallyu,” also known as the “Korean Wave.” Representative of the entertainment industry in Asia, the company operates its own comprehensive entertainment business including artist development, record label services, talent agency services, music production, music publishing, event management, and concert production.

About Blake Kathryn

Blake Kathryn is a Los Angeles based 3d artist with a surreal futurist aesthetic. Her work fuses vibrant palettes with ethereal undertones. Inspired by the opulent dreams of tomorrow alongside a love for retro-futurism she infuses her work with unfamiliar nostalgia. She has collaborated with aespa, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Paris Hilton, Lil Nas X & more.

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce, and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable, and collaborative.

About connecting dotts

connecting dotts is a fully integrated group of entertainment experts, storytellers and strategic partners who connect the dots in the entertainment world between brands, consumers, talents and content creators. Headquartered in Singapore with teams in South Korea and USA, we collaborate and push the envelope with innovative, creative and original ideas for multi-dimensional projects varying from content exhibitions, pop culture expo, brand engagement to NFT collaborations ready for Web3.0. For more information, visit. www.connectingdotts.net.

About INVNT.ATOM

INVNT.ATOM, part of [INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT, is a innovation and brand experience agency devoted to helping global brands chart a course, navigate, activate, and create new opportunities at the digital frontier of Web3. Based in Singapore, the collective of strategists, marketers, creators, programmers, matchmakers, and thought leaders, turn strategies into stories and stories into experiences that engage communities on the global stage. For more information about INVNT.ATOM, visit: www.invntatom.com.

About [INVNT GROUP]

[INVNT GROUP] was established in 2020, as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT in 2008, with a vision to provide consistent, meaningful, well-articulated BrandStory across all platforms. With offices in New York, Sydney, London, Singapore, Dubai, San Francisco, Stockholm, Detroit, and Washington D.C.; headed by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT represents a growing portfolio of complementary disciplines designed to help forward-thinking organizations everywhere, impact the audiences that matter, anywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning; production studio & creative agency, HEVĒ; events for colleges and universities, INVNT Higher Ed; digital innovation division, INVNT.ATOM; creative multimedia experience studio, Hypnogram; and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. For more information visit www.invntgroup.com.

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Lindsay Colker
Elevate Communications
lindsay@elevateprco.com

INVNT.ATOM Inquiries:
Anna O'Young
aoyoung@invnt.com

[INVNT GROUP] Inquiries:
Jhonathan Mendez de Leon
jmendezdeleon@invnt.com