Visithra Manikam Becomes First M’sian Visual Artist To Grace NYC’s Billboards For Her NFTs

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Discriminated here, M'sian finds her art snapped up online by Snoop Dogg | Malaysia | The Vibes
Source: The Vibes

DISCLAIMER: This article was amended on 5pm, 27 July. The previous version originally stated that the artist had made RM1.5 million, her art collection had accumulated 91ETH (RM1.58million) in volume traded.

Volume traded refers to the sales of NFTs on the primary and secondary by owners. Secondary sales will provide royalty payments to the artist, according to The Vibes.

It was only last year that Visithra Manikam made headlines for her NFTs, with none other than Snoop Dogg among buyers. Now, her art graces three of Times Square’s iconic billboards in New York City.

Throughout many years, Visithra faced discrimination in the art world. While taking part in multiple exhibitions over the years, she has been told that her pieces were “too Indian” from gallery artists and even fellow artists.

“I’ve been in shows where I’m the token Indian. Between January and September 2019, there were 71 exhibitions in the top nine galleries – only six shows featured Malaysian Indian artists,” she told the media.

NFT art by Malaysia’s Visithra graces New York’s Times Square
Source: The Vibes

The display of her NFTs (non-fungible token) on NYC’s billboards is in conjunction with her being invited on as a speaker at the biggest NFT Conference last month, NFT.NYC. She was also the only Malaysian that was invited to attend.

According to The Vibes, her NFTs were selected to be featured out of a total of 1,500 applications.

“I’m really honoured to be selected to speak about my art journey at NFT.NYC. As an artist from Malaysia, NFTs have created global opportunities that were out of reach for many artists in Asia previously,” she said.

Visithra Manikam speaking last month at NFT.NYC. Her art has been showcased on two more billboards as part of an exhibition curated from Snoop Dogg’s Medici collection. – Pic courtesy of Visithra Manikam, July 27, 2022
Source: The Vibes

In an interview, she said that she had only got the news that she was selected for the billboard feature when she landed in NYC, and that this has been a dream for her since last year.

“It has been overwhelming to see my art being featured in the art capital of the world as the global NFT community descends on New York.”

Visithra is the first ever Malaysian to be featured on Times Square’s billboard for visual arts, and it is a major turning point for the art industry and NFTs.

Visithra - Collection | OpenSea
Source: OpenSea

The artwork itself resonates with celebrating dark-skinned women. Named after the Indian instrument, Chikara symbolises harnessing the strength and power to achieve our dreams.

“In Malaysia, we hardly appear on billboards, fashion magazines, and runways. I hope this art will show that dark-skinned women are beautiful and strong, and their value does not lie in the opinion of a biased society.”

She is currently a verified artist on OpenSea, the biggest international NFT platform.

You go girl! JUICE hopes to see Visithra make more headlines through the power of her art <3