This conversation invites practitioners engaged in the field of cryptocurrency and NFTs to reflect on the new art worlds being built, and to explore how the concept of the market expands and shifts within this framework. Some key questions that will be explored are: how are digital economies redefining the way art is practiced, circulated, and sold, and how are these developments influencing the way art-making communities evolve in turn?  

In collaboration with Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum

Chris Fussner, Founder/Designer, Tropical Futures 
Clara Peh, Founder, NFT Asia, and Curator, Art Dubai 2023 Digital  
Peter Yu, Co-Founder/CEO, 
Maria Paula Fernandez, Co-Founder, Juried Protocol Galleries ( 
Moderator: Shumon Basar, Global Art Forum Commissioner

Chris Fussner is a multidisciplinary designer and strategist working at the intersections of design and technology. He is the founder of Tropical Futures Institute, a creative studio with a multi-media approach to design that integrates the worlds of future studies and contemporary visual culture. He is one of the founding curators of Art Dubai’s Digital section and as of 2023 releasing a range of multidisciplinary collaborations with Tropical Futures. 

Clara Peh is a Singapore-based curator and arts writer. Her work focuses on digital visual cultures and experimental practices. She is the founder of NFT Asia, a digital-native artist collective. Clara is also the curator for Art Dubai 2023 Digital, and has curated a number of exhibitions focused on art on the blockchain, including: ‘Right Click + Save’, Le Freeport, Singapore (2021); ‘Proof of Concept’, Appetite, Singapore (2023), and ‘Generating/Iterating’, The Upside Space, Singapore (2023). She currently sits on the Advisory Board for Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize.

Peter Yu is a strategist and implementor with a passion for technology and a knack for turning innovative ideas into successful ventures, and a wealth of experience in developing, managing, and monetizing intellectual property. His educational background in philosophy (aesthetics) from the University of Michigan and former roles as Creative Director of Commercial Radio in Hong Kong, and Regional Director of Samsung Mpeon, Greater China, have honed his skills and given him a unique perspective on the intersection of art and technology. He is Co-Founder and CEO of, a platform dedicated to supporting artists, curators, collectors, and all those who contribute to the fine art ecosystem in their journey as they explore the limitless possibilities of blockchain and artificial intelligence. 

María Paula Fernández is Co-Founder of and the Department of Decentralisation. She has been working in Web3 since 2017, when she joined the Web3 Foundation, and has worked or consulted for several of the most prominent blockchain projects. In 2018 she founded a grassroots organisation in Berlin, Department of Decentralisation, hosting Web3 hackathons and researching, publishing and curating at the intersection of art and technology. In early 2021, she started a company with Sam Spike and Trent Elmore,, which functions as a protocol that focuses on on-chain NFT curation. 

Shumon Basar is a writer, editor and curator. He is author of the books The Extreme Self: Age of You and The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, both with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Together, they co-curated the large-scale exhibition Age of You at MOCA Toronto and Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai. In addition to being Commissioner of Art Dubai’s Global Art Forum since 2011, Basar has also been a member of Fondazione Prada’s ‘Thought Council’; Chief Narrative Officer at Zien; a curator at Fórum do Futuro and at Art Jameel; and has editorial roles at the magazines TANK, Bidoun, 032c, and Flash Art. 

This talk was conducted in English, with simultaneous translation into Mandarin.

The Art Basel Hong Kong 2023 Conversations program is curated by Stephanie Bailey.
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