Akobi: Visions of the Future

Non-Fungible Token (NFTs) are here to stay; a bit of an understatement.

And if we were not already stating the obvious, we can take note of the traditional and conservative world of art trade expanding its scope to catch up with this new reality. An increasing number of artists are accomplishing groundbreaking feats within the web3 space, creating unique art—music, paintings, tangible and intangible cultural artefacts—in the form of NFTs.

True NFT advocates remain excited about how this game-changing innovation will open up new markets, enabling participants and stakeholders to build a new economic paradigm—although the most recent realities are yet to live up to the full hype of its undisputed potential. However, as the market begins to mature, so have the ideas about how useful the technology can be.

Ayobola Kekere-Ekun, a renowned contemporary visual artist, immediately spotted the synergies between NFTs, art, and culture, and how creating NFTs inspired by her physical art would serve as a strong channel to share her stories with the world.

 Hence, Akobi was born.    

Akobi: The intersection of culture, art, and technology

The new generation of audiences does not focus—at least not solely—on the distinctions between the real and virtual worlds. Instead, they are more inclined to favor a blend between the two. NFTs present a hybrid landscape where audiences can explore and collect, at will, an extensive and ever-increasing world of art that is deeply rooted in culture and heritage.

Bringing these synergies together, the Akobi collection comprises 10,000 entirely handmade and unique art pieces that will be randomly generated on the Ethereum blockchain. A project looking to bring untold stories to web3, Akobi merges contemporary art, design, technology, and community in an innovative new world. Each Akobi NFT will be a high-resolution representation of the physical art—the collection itself produced through one of the most ancient and creative art techniques, quilling. 

“Akobi” is a traditional moniker bestowed upon the firstborn child according to ancient Yoruba customs, one that is deeply rooted in a culture of respect, honor, and duty. Akobi aims to take the world on a semi-autobiographical fantasy journey, weaving contemporary art and history together through storytelling with a focus on creativity, uniqueness, and intrigue. More than just art, each piece expresses the sophistication and rich history of the Yoruba custom and heritage.

What is the artist’s vision for Akobi?

Each Akobi was crafted through Ayobola’s signature artistic style—quilling, a centuries-old technique with ancient Egyptian origins. The creative challenge of designing, handmaking, and assembling the Akobi traits left no room for error, and ultimately makes each piece across the collection that much more unique. 

Akobi is set to blur the lines between the physical and digital narratives for contemporary art. Randomly selected holders of the collection will receive physical deliveries of the original hand-made Akobi pieces. The artist wishes to envelop collectors in her world, as each piece becomes more than just an artwork; yet again, bridging the gap between the virtual and the physical.

Alongside collaborations with strategic partners and brands, the artist seeks to share her stories and cultural truths with the world, transposing the fantastically quilled and mixed media works into universal virtual expressions of belonging and identity that transcend gallery walls. 

No shortcuts to lasting beauty

The process of birthing the entire Akobi collection is ongoing. The creative process involved in creating each Akobi by hand, down to every last detail, makes them worth the wait. However, the artist has been generous to share sneak peeks of the first six Akobis from the 10,000-strong collection. Join the Akobi family on its Discord, Twitter, and Instagram communities to keep up to date with this exciting project as the team creates an exceptional collection. The first 500 members receive automatic access to the Tribe (Akobi Whitelist), so get in immediately!

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