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Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Apl.De.Ap, Bitto collab with GCrypto for phygital art launch

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines continues to be one of the most vibrant markets for artistic innovation in Southeast Asia, with the country’s creative economy amounting to PHP 1.6 trillion in 2022, a 12% increase from the previous year.

Now with the emergence of phygital art, a fusion of traditional art forms and interactive digital elements, a new era of storytelling is born, inviting audiences to actively immerse, interact, and engage with different narratives.

Ushering in the advent of a new artistic form, finance super app GCash, through GCrypto, partnered with renowned Filipino American rapper Apl.de.Ap and Manila-based contemporary artist Bitto to bring phygital art to life at the Agents of Peace and Love, the Apl.de.Ap and Bitto Phygital Art Collection.

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“We are delighted to work with Apl.de.Ap and Bitto, two Filipino artists who have established their marks in the global space, as they break artistic boundaries,” said Luis Buenaventura, GCash Head of Web3. “This collaboration is in line with our goal of amplifying more local talents to the global stage while enabling more Filipino creatives and collectors to access premium art collaborations.”

Luis Buenaventura, GCash Head of Web3, kicks off the program by sharing the importance of Filipino artists having more than one avenue for displaying their works.

At the Apl.de.Ap x Bitto Phygital Art Launch in Apotheka Makati, Poblacion, art enthusiasts and NFT collectors came together to witness the launch of Agents of Peace and Love, a collection featuring Apl.de.Ap’s NFT music and Bitto’s Bittoverse artworks.

Apl.de.ap and Bitto pose with the winning bidder of their phygital artwork, content creator Jax Reyes. The canvas painting comes with an NFC chip that allows you to hear the song and all the remixes when scanned with your phone.

An art auction in collaboration with homegrown NFT marketplace, Likha, and the popular art gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, showcased a one-of-a-kind canvas painting by Bitto, accompanied by original unreleased music by Apl de Ap, which will be for the benefit of the Apl.de.Ap Foundation. Collectors snagged limited edition sculptures with embedded music, along with signed event-exclusive art prints.

“Finally, a Bitto artwork piece but it’s even more special since it’s also a collaboration with Apl! It’s something you don’t see often: a collaboration of two big names in the creative/art space,” shared Jax Reyes, winning bidder of the 4x5ft canvass painting that comes with the ownership of Apl’s exclusive song ‘Turnaround.’ Asked what inspired him to bid for the artwork, Reyes said “​​More than anything else, it’s the cause. It’s the portion that will be donated to nurture the youth through education and [help them] explore their creative side.”

Guests interact with the phygital art pieces on display by scanning the artwork using their phone

The Agents of Peace and Love: Apl.de.Ap x Bitto Phygital Art collection explores an intersection of technology and creativity where colors, shapes, and emotions come to life. As a pioneer in the fintech industry, GCrypto staged the art launch to bring together the best of blockchain technology paired with physical art, featuring a digital certificate of authentication (COA) which documents the transaction on the blockchain to bring peace of mind to both artists and buyers alike.

“I’m excited to have my foundation collaborating with Bitto to release our first physical art launch, ‘Agents of Peace and Love.’ It means a lot to see the art move into a myriad of dimensions,” said Apl.de.Ap.

“It’s really an honor for me to be working together with Apl and APLFI through GCrypto. I’m truly grateful to know that I created a few artworks for this project that could provide support and grant opportunities to the youth in the Philippines,” added Bitto.

Apl.de.ap pumped up the dance floor with Black Eyed Peas hits ‘Let’s Get it Started,’ ‘Ritmo,’ ‘Mabuti,’ ‘Bebot,’ The APL Song,’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling.’ Guests were also treated to Apl’s performance of his new song ‘Never.’

Multi-awarded Filipino Grammy winner Apl.de.Ap of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas has been a champion of the Filipino creative industry through Web3. Before the launch of his phygital art collaboration with Bitto, he announced an NFT collaboration with Sevi, a 10-year-old artist with autism and a beneficiary of the First Mint Fund at the 2022 Philippine Web3 Festival. He also established the Apl.de.Ap Foundation to empower Filipino youth with grant opportunities through arts, technology, and healthcare.

Manila-based modern and contemporary artist Bitto draws inspiration from nature, textiles, Japanese fashion magazines, and streetwear, to create a vibrant and cohesive body of works that delve into personal narratives and reflect his diverse interests. His paintings feature recurring characters in encapsulated moments, portraying intimate scenes of everyday life. Before partnering with Apl.de.Ap, Bitto has worked with global clients like Shakeshack, Nike, Bench, Sentosa, Fjallraven, and Apple.

(L-R) Robert Gonzales, Chief People Officer of GCash; Neil Trinidad, Chief Marketing Officer of GCash; Pebbles Sy- Chief Technology and Operations Officer of GCash; Bitto; Apl.de.Ap; Commissioner Kelvin Lester Lee of the Securities and Exchange Commission and wife; Luis Buenaventura, Head of Web3, GCash; Jong Layug, VP Wealth Management, GCash; Mark Nunez, Head of Partnerships for Web3, GCash

“As the leading fintech company in the Philippines, we at GCash are pioneering innovation in financial spaces and artistic breakthroughs, and that includes making NFTs and phygital art accessible to more people,” noted Luis. “As we work towards the goal of financial progress, this is our way of fostering innovation, democratizing art ownership and making crypto easier for every Filipino.”

In 2023, GCash launched its first GCrypto NFT collection: The House of Ohlala, from Filipino contemporary artist, Reen Barrera, along with the introduction of the GCrypto NFT Hub, which features digital art created by famous and up-and-coming local artists. Through GCrypto NFT Hub, art was made accessible for GCash users as they can now own a piece of these artists’ work through blockchain technology. At the GCrypto NFT Hub, they can explore digital art available for sale by National Artist Larry Alcala, Superordinary Friends x TRNZ, and Monster Mayhem by Distort Monsters.

Ready to access premium art collaborations and discover more artists? Get first dibs on curated and legitimate digital art through the GCrypto NFT Hub here. Kaya Mo. I-GCash Mo.

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