Blockchain start-up Co-Museum partners with LASTKNIGHT, cultural entrepreneur Adrian Cheng’s Web3 persona, to present "CO-MUSEUM × LASTKNIGHT ARTIFACT 001: THE GOLDEN SKATEBOARD C/O YOON," an exclusive pop-up experience at K11 MUSEA’s CEMENT kickstarting an era of NFT co-ownership with the inaugural fractionalised drop, Artifact 001: The Golden Skateboard.
Signed by legendary skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, the public will have the exclusive opportunity to co-own this iconic 24k gold-plated skateboard created by NFT powerhouse Azuki, acquiring NFTs that come with valuable physical collectibles through a tiered sales system.
Collaborating with visionary designer YOON of AMBUSH® on a commemorative hoodie to celebrate the milestone, visitors will also have the exclusive opportunity to preview and purchase the official merch, while enjoying stunning visuals on LG’s easel-inspired cutting-edge screens sporting artworks of various Azuki-affiliated artists.
On the occasion of the opening of "CO-MUSEUM × LASTKNIGHT ARTIFACT 001: THE GOLDEN SKATEBOARD C/O YOON," we've sat down with Chaw Wei Yang, Founder of Co-Museum, to take a closer look at their groundbreaking approach to democratizing art ownership, their unique co-ownership process, and how their collaboration with LASTKNIGHT is reshaping the boundaries between art, technology, and community.
Can you share more about the inspiration behind the establishment of Co-Museum and its aim to democratize art ownership?
I first had the idea of Co-Museum back in 2018 when I was frustrated by the high levels of private ownership in the art world. The core vision behind Co-Museum was to pioneer a blockchain-based framework for fostering communal ownership of the world's most iconic and culturally significant artworks.
The idea came when I was watching an art collector unbox works from his storage unit that he had forgotten he even owned. It was an eye-opening moment for me. Then it hit me, art is a part of culture, and culture belongs to the wider community. So why was it that art has never been owned by the people before? There had to be a way to change this and introduce community ownership of the arts. That was how the idea of Co-Museum was born.
Co-Museum combines fine art with blockchain technology to facilitate co-ownership. Can you explain how this process works and how it ensures the authenticity and ownership of the artwork?
Co-Museum’s goal is to allow the wider community to co-own the best and most iconic art pieces in the world. And the way we do it is by tokenizing the option to purchase (OTP) of the artwork, we then fractionalize this OTP into NFT’s. These NFT’s thus allow the wider community to co-own these artworks where each NFT almost acts like a “key” that “unlocks” the ability to own the artwork in its totality. Hence this also means that if the community chooses so, these artworks can still be purchased up by an individual buyer who can “unlock” the OTP to the artwork by purchasing majority of the NFTs and triggering a buyout. Giving the community full freedom to decide the status of the artwork.
As for authenticity of our artworks, at Co-Museum we have two main ways we obtain pieces for Co-ownership. The first way would be us directly working with artists who collaborate with us by creating an art piece for Co-Museum with the intention of putting it up for Co-ownership.So by going straight to the source, we solve the problem of authenticity. The second way is that we obtain artworks from collectors. In these cases the provenance of the artwork becomes very important only selecting artworks with a good record and documentation of their ownership history from good collections. Furthermore we work with art authenticators to ensure the authenticity of these pieces. And if there is even a slight doubt of any piece’s authenticity, we will not obtain it.
Can you discuss the genesis of the collaboration between Co-Museum and LASTKNIGHT, and how it aligns with your respective missions?
I can always vividly remember the first time I ever stepped into K11. I was only 12 years old but it left such a lasting impression on me as it was the first mall that I had ever seen with such an incredible marriage of retail, culture and art experience that was truly revolutionary to me. K11 became a must-visit for me every time I visited Hong Kong and everytime I visited, it was always such a unique experience with the carefully curated stores and different exhibitions and installations that would be there when I visited.
It was then, only a matter of time when I found out the visionary behind the K11 story — Adrian Cheng. Adrian is not only one of the most influential figure in the art scene in Asia but his mission to incubate up and coming talent, propagate culture and democratizing art for all was something I heavily resonated with and he became one of my inspiration when building Co-Museum. And that was why,when LASTKNIGHT (Adrian’s WEB3 Persona) started building and tapping on the power of WEB3 to power this vision, I was so excited to see what he was planning to do in this space.
And it was this shared passion that brought Co-Museum and LASTKNIGHT together. The opportunity arose to showcase Co-Museum's vision within the vibrant canvas of K11 MUSEA. Co-Museum is a cultural collective, a movement that seeks to bridge the realms of art, technology, and community.
In the words of Adrian Cheng, “The collaboration with Co-Museum embodies the convergence of art, technology, and community, creating a unique experience that aligns with our mission at K11 MUSEA. We are excited to leverage our cutting-edge space to provide a location for the community to engage with the physical aspect of Co-Museum’s offering while amplifying Web3’s mission to bridge the physical and the digital.”
Our collaboration is not just a partnership; it's a testament to the boundless possibilities when creativity, technology, and shared values come together. Together, we hope this collaboration will inspire, innovate, and redefine the boundaries of art and culture.Sparking a cultural movement that will put art back into the hands of the people, and inviting everyone to be a part of this journey.
What led to the selection of Artifact 001: The Golden Skateboard for the inaugural launch? What does this piece represent for Co-Museum and the art community?
The Azuki Golden skateboard auction was an iconic moment especially for web3 culture. The day of the auction, 8 world records were simultaneously broken. The most expensive skateboard ever sold before that auction was $38,000. It was part of a fundraising event by Skateboarding icon Tony Hawk and was created by skateboarder Jamie Thomas and legendary Singer Bob Dylan. But on the day of the Azuki auction, the lowest price of the 8 Golden Skateboards sold that day was 200 ETH (approx. $267,000 at the time of auction) smashing the previous record and the highest of the 8 skateboards selling for 309 ETH (approx. $413,000 at the time of auction). This not only showed the power of the web3 community to create and drive value of art, but on a technological level, the golden skateboard was the first mainstream use case of creating “Physical Backed Tokens” which basically made NFTs physical.
Above that, the Golden Skateboard also serves as a symbol for the wider crypto community. Drawing the parallel to WEB3 culture, skate culture once considered a fringe subculture, attracting rebels, non-conformist and misfit, who were unashamed forging a unique identity rooted in freedom, creativity, and defiance. But now skate culture has not only gone mainstream but become an integral part of our cultural landscape with the biggest fashion houses being influenced by skater aesthetics and skateboarding being recognised as an olympic sport, making its debut during tokyo 2020.
In the same way, Web3 and NFTs are seen as a fringe culture, with many doubters of the space. But I believe just like skate culture, Web3 and NFTs will become mainstream and will not only become mainstream but will also bring its ethos of community and ownership to the forefront of our cultural landscape, with this Golden Skateboard embodying this message.
What were some of the challenges or rewarding moments in coordinating such a multifaceted collaboration for the inaugural launch? ( Could we change to challenges and rewarding moments in building Co-Museum instead?
I think some of the most challenging moments in the journey of building Co-Museum has been the rejection and backlash when sharing the vision and dream of what Co-Museum is trying to accomplish. The art industry can be very resistant to change and innovation and I have experienced very visceral reactions from some. But the most rewarding moments also come when I share about Co-Museum and you see people’s eyes light up when they understand and resonate with the vision. Getting to meet and work with like-minded individuals, some even being heroes of mine such as Adrian and YOON, has been truly a humbling and rewarding experience so far.
Looking towards the future, how does Co-Museum plan to continue integrating collaborations into its mission of democratizing art ownership?
I believe collaborations with cultural visionaries, artists and cultural institutions will be incredibly important for the future of Co-Museum. If I could boil Co-Museum down to one thing, we are more than just an NFT project or some art tokenisation platform. Ultimately Co-Museum is a cultural movement that wants to give ownership of art and culture back into the hands of the people. And these collaborations will not only allow our message and mission to reach a wider audience, but in time allow us to create a paradigm shift in the way the wider public views art ownership.
The dream is that the next generation will grow up in a world where co-owning masterpieces from Picasso or Warhol is a norm, where they will no longer just walk into a museum and look at a piece of art. But rather we will be walking into our museum looking at our piece of art.
“CO-MUSEUM × LASTKNIGHT ARTIFACT 001: THE GOLDEN SKATEBOARD C/O YOON”
September 13 – 25
CEMENT, G31, G/F, Muse Edition, K11 MUSEA