The NFT project ‘Cosmic Fruits and Vegetables’ (2022) is an extension of the Taiwanese art group Walking Grass Agriculture’s ‘Carton of Homesick’ series (2017).
‘At last, our agricultural background and artistic profession can be temporarily left aside, and we may “plant” whatever fruit or vegetable NFTs we want to with the immunity of technological ignorance.’
These agricultural NFTs are not affected by the climate and therefore will always be in season. There’s no need for dumping of surplus, cold chain logistics, or refrigerated storage of perishable foods. Farmers won’t be severely exploited by traders anymore. And these NFTs are able to ‘smile’ for the farmers even in difficult situations, which perfectly demonstrates the Chinese idiom ‘no slap in the face to those who are smiling’. ‘The Cosmic Fruits and Vegetables Project is all about naked selling and direct acquisition, and that men are possibly allowed to propose without letting God dispose.’
The inspiration behind ‘Cosmic Fruits and Vegetables – When Mangos Giggle In Extreme Weather’ comes from two Jinhuang mango trees in Jiaxian, Kaohsiung, the hometown of one of the Walking Grass Agriculture members, which were planted by his grandfather when he was born.
Summer is normally the peak season for Jinhuang mangos. This year, however, climate change upset the rainy season in Kaohsiung and temperatures were abnormal, causing a disruption to the flowering of mangos and resulting in a poor harvest.
Consequently, Walking Grass Agriculture attempts to translate the original farming activity into NFTs by transplanting the two Jinhuang mango trees onto the Tezos blockchain. Through 8-bit pixel images, these mangos are given expressions of pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy, and thus the once helpless farmer's emotions are given an outlet in the new medium. Or, perhaps one day these tokenised products shall become a new source of crops and livelihood for 'art farmers'.
Walking Grass Agriculture is an art group that focuses on visual art, design and curation, featuring major artists Han-Sheng Chen and Hsing-You Liu, respectively specialised in new media art and art history. They emphasise the importance of residency experience and observation, and are highly interested in learning folk arts and its migration and generation. Their research combines topography, modernology and material culture, moulding the farming experience into their own artistic methods. Major themes include ecological environment, urban change and gender issues.