‘S ymphony of the Future’ is the latest public art programme by K11, the pioneering group founded by Adrian Cheng in 2008. Three new artworks by Tom Friedman, Olivier Cong, and Don Diablo are displayed or activated along the Promenade of K11 MUSEA overlooking Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour. The multimedia pieces feature new technology, and reflect K11’s long-held mission to be at the forefront of the ever-evolving art world.
A longstanding partner of K11, Sotheby’s Hong Kong has collaborated to present HΞXAVΞRSΞ, an astonishing part-physical, part-digital work by Dutch artist, producer and DJ Don Diablo. It’s Diablo’s first outdoor piece, a commanding futuristic structure comprising back-to-back doors flung-open to reveal portals to the Metaverse. His unique vision for this digital space is brought to life through videos, some featuring his ‘metahuman’ avatar. As with his two previous works for Sotheby’s, the sculpture can be controlled wirelessly, allowing it to evolve and develop as he shares new content over time.
“Digital art has been frowned upon for many years, but if there is one great thing this pandemic brought us it's the birth of a digital (art) renaissance.”
The Metaverse as a concept holds a new place in our society, evoking both excitement and fear as people consider its future incarnations and implications. With HΞXAVΞRSΞ, Diablo makes physical a piece of that invite viewers to consider the possibilities of this new technology. “WOULD you open the door?” he asks on Instagram.
The artist first appeared in Sotheby’s Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale in June 2021, where his INFINITΞ FUTURΞ, 2021, sold for $927,500. That work also combined digital art with a physical component – displaying a mesmerizing visualization of an energy form trapped within an infinite loop on a custom-made hologram cabinet, constructed to reveal its electronic contents. The NFT was stored on a unique cartridge inspired by his love for 80s video game cartridges. Diablo considers that “buying an NFT or any other form of digital art should simply mark the start of an adventure,” which he continues by wirelessly adding new digital art pieces to the work at any time, from anywhere.
K11 Konversations: Don Diablo On The Potentiality Of Art For The Metaverse
From his work in audiovisual journalism and videos to NFT sculptures, Don Diablo poses questions through his art in the collective quest for a metaverse that brings the digital and physical together. In conversation with Head of the Contemporary Art Sotheby's Hong Kong, Max Moore, Diablo takes us deep into his art and music practice. He talks about what it means to be a futurist, dissolving the boundaries between music, art, fashion and tech; reimagining the position of creator and consumer; and why the metaverse and all that comes with Web3 is not just hype but something he has worked towards his whole life.
HΞXAVΞRSΞ’s two editions are on view simultaneously at the K11 MUSEA in Hong Kong and at K11 Shanghai through 18 December. A world tour of the sculptures is planned for 2023, beginning in New York.