Rima Kallingal becomes first Malayalam actor to delve into NFT market with her art project

Malayalam actor Rima Kallingal auctioned for her first NFT project titled ‘The Insurgent Bloom’ in blockchain-based platform Foundation.
A screengrab from Rima Kallingal and her team's NFT artwork The Insurgent Bloom
A screengrab from Rima Kallingal and her team's NFT artwork The Insurgent Bloom
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Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs have become popular especially among digital creators. The one-of-its-kind cryptocurrency asset is being increasingly used by artists since it is non-fungible and irreplaceable by another identical item. The latest artist to delve into the NFT market is Malayalam actor Rima Kallingal. She recently launched her genesis NFT project with a digital artwork in the ethereum based NFT Marketplace, Foundation. 

Titled ‘The Insurgent Bloom,’ the digital artwork was inspired by the blooming of Neelakurinji in Munnar. Rima created the artwork along with music composer Lami, Francis Kurien, who took care of the motion graphics and photoshoot, Mahesh Krishnan who had penned the poem, and NFT Malayali, a collective of Malayali artists from all genres in the crypto art space which was co-founded by Anantha Krishnan Nadamel & Melvin Thambi

Making the announcement on social media on Monday, October 18, Rima said that The Insurgent Bloom is the first NFT project created by an actor from the Malayalam film fraternity. “Launched my first NFT project 'The Insurgent Bloom' and the bid is on.! This becomes the first NFT project by a Malayalam actor,” she said in a tweet, where she also thanked her team.  

The auction for the artwork commenced on October 17 and ended on October 18. The highest bid was offered by @barthazian, who bought the artwork for 2.75 ether, which is worth $10,263.03 (Rs 7.73 lakh).  

Speaking to TNM about venturing into the NFT market, Rima shares, “During COVID-19, when we had a lot of time to understand what is happening in this parallel digital universe, there was this whole cryptocurrency world that opened up. Although it sounds confusing in the beginning because of the jargons, I’ve been looking at the investments and came across NFTs. From early YouTube videos to the first tweet, it opens up many possibilities for artists. I am constantly looking for new media to explore; so I jumped right at it.”  

Drawing parallels to OTT revolutionising cinema during the pandemic, Rima states that NFTs open a plethora of opportunities for artists. “It is amazing how it is possible to sit in Kerala and sell your artwork to a bidder from the US. The value of artwork also grows exponentially over time and even after the artwork is sold in an auction, artists get a royalty for a lifetime,” she says.  

Rima states that 50% of what the artists make out of NFT will be used to support movies made by women. “I am also looking at reinvesting in the NFT community and buying art made by women there as well,” says Rima.  

The actor also adds that although many are yet to familiarise themselves with the technicalities and jargons that are used in cryptocurrency marketplaces, the NFT community helps others with the process and enables them to bridge the gap between art and tech. “With tech giants and even governments recognising NFTs, it looks like this will be something that a lot of people might be using down the line,” Rima notes.

Social media users and digital artists who are familiar with the world of NFTs applauded Rima’s efforts. Politician Shashi Tharoor also heaped praises for her initiative. “Remarkable initiative by @rimarajan (the Malayalam star Rima Kallingal) to digitise her first NFT and a stunning one it is too! Way to go Rima!” 

Earlier, an animated clip showcasing cricketer Dinesh Karthik’s thoughts before he faced down the opposing team in the final minutes during the 2018 India-Bangladesh match, became the first ever sports NFT, which was created in partnership with squash player Saurav Ghosal.  

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