Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang has entered the world of non-fungible tokens, recently auctioning off his first NFT work for US$2.5 million.

Fast facts

  • Cai’s work “Transient Eternity — 101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings,” commissioned by the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, was auctioned on TR Lab for US$2.5 million after a 48-hour bidding period that closed on Friday. The work will remain on display through August 14.
  • Starting with bids of US$1, the artwork drew attention from NFT collectors, including TRON Foundation founder Justin Sun, who repeatedly bid and once offered a price of US$ 2.2 million during the auction.
  • Sun, who lost the bid, later tweeted: “Crazy auction with a lot of unexpected competition … great to see artists like Cai Guoqiang coming into the NFT space!”
  • Half of the auction proceeds will go to the Rockbund Art Museum, in support of the museum’s development and digital art research programs, and the other half will go toward the Cai Foundation, mainly to support funding young Chinese artists studying in the United States, according to a statement released yesterday by Cai’s studio.