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Puppeteers In Taiwan Bow Resorting To NFTs To Keep Alive Their Craft

Puppeteers In Taiwan Bow Resorting To NFTs To Keep Alive Their Craft
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are being considered by a group of Taiwanese puppeteers as a way to help bring their traditional art form into the modern era and keep it relevant for a new audience.
NFTs are crypto assets that represent a digital item such as a picture, video, or even virtual world land, with prices soaring so quickly last year that speculators all around the world "flipped" them for a profit in days.
Pili International Multimedia, based in central Taiwan's Yunlin County, produces Taiwan's longest-running television show involving puppets, says it plans to use NFTs as a new revenue stream.
"The sort of imagination everyone nowadays has for the online world is developing so fast that we are almost unable to grasp it," said Seika Huang, Pili's brand director.
"Instead of sitting on the sidelines, the best approach is to go ahead and understand fully what's going on. This is the fastest way to catch up."
Thousands of glove puppet characters populate Pili, a classic aspect of Taiwanese street entertainment culture that tells colourful and stylized stories of heroic courage and romance, frequently involving martial arts.
The puppets are painstakingly built and skilfully manoeuvred throughout the filming of the plays, with sewn-on clothes and meticulously placed strands of hair.
Pili claims that four of its puppet figures have been turned into digital counterparts, with 30,000 sets sold as NFTs.
Since its early February debut, the company has failed to publish the profit-sharing agreement with the market platform, but said pricing for each set have started at $40, translating to at least $1.2 million in income.
The stories of the puppet heroes appeal with a younger demographic, according to marketing technology company VeVe, which is in charge of selling the NFTs. The storylines of the puppet heroes could pull in overseas fans of super hero films, such as those based on characters from Marvel Comics.
"Westerners actually really like our martial arts heroes and kung-fu," said VeVe's brand manager Raymond Chou.
Huang, who claims that their initial VeVe listings sold out in seconds, is currently working on transforming up to 50 more puppet figures into NFTs, which may bring in another million dollars for the company.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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