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Negative Energy: Shanghai Arts Collective Launches Charity Lockdown NFT Collection

Pick yourself up a souvenir of the most fun you've ever had!
2022-05-12 12:00:00

In a circumstance that very RIGHT NOW, a Shanghai arts collective called Stay Negative has launched a lockdown-inspired series of NFT images with proceeds going to charity.

In the eventuality that we'll all look back upon this period and... maybe laugh?... if you pick up one of these NFTs from Stay Negative, you'll have a nifty little piece of memorabilia to signify that time, for that one crazy summer in Shanghai, a robot dog with a megaphone strapped to its back was your master.

Yes, there's a robot dog NFT in the collection.

Maybe this is one way to make the words "robot dog" be awesome again. Like they were only 50 days ago. Or so.

But the big thing is the proceeds from these NFTs are going to charity, which is always a good thing. And they are quite neat. And if you're into NFTs you might be interested. SmartShanghai caught up with two members of Stay Negative — Alessandro Pavanello and Vittorio Sileo — to find out more about it. Alessandro discussed the creative side of the project and Vittorio explained what NFTs are to us.

Because... well, we're not exactly YOUNG now, are we?


SmSh: Can you introduce "Stay Negative"? Who are all the people involved and what sorts of things do you do?

Alessandro Pavanello: What is Stay Negative. More than anything else — and in particular for pretty much everyone here in China — it's a wish! We are a collective of designers, creatives and business people that leveraged our own talents and prior experience to turn this desire to "stay negative" into a mission to do good, which is now displayed through a unique NFT collection.

SmSh: What previous projects have you done?

Alessandro: At the beginning of April, when things started to go sideways here in Shanghai, we took a look at our situation and realized that," Man... it's not great, but there are a lot of people who are doing way worse than us right now... How could we help them?"

That desire to give back to the ones in need triggered the start of Stay Negative, so we launched an offline campaign selling tangible products and we managed to raise thousands of RMB to help the homeless people of Shanghai through a charity fund.

SmSh: What's the goal of the project? What are you trying to accomplish?

Alessandro: Our foundation and main goal is to bring positive — rather than negative — energy to people, leveraging any possible creative medium, from short to long video, from photography to illustration, from audio content to editorial script.

The main idea behind the NFT collection is to frame this historical moment and create a piece of memorabilia for the owner, with the intent to make the viewer feel comfortable while looking at that image.

At the same time we feel NFTs are the most effective way to start building a community worldwide. A Stay Negative token allows the buyer to contribute to a good cause and join a community of like-minded individuals.

SmSh: Okay. So. What is an NFT? Let's assume I have absolutely no idea whatsoever.

Vittorio Sileo: If we go by the "academic" definition, an NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique cryptographic token that exists on a blockchain and cannot be replicated.

A better way to put it for non-technical people is that an NFT is basically a certificate that proves your digital property and it is guaranteed by the blockchain technology. NFTs can be used to authenticate different kind of ownerships, it can be artworks, real estate, and really any kind of IRL (in real life) utility.

For example when we buy a gym membership in the "traditional" way, we don't really own it. An NFT gives you the technological capacity to claim that the specific gym membership you purchased is your property and yours only, and you can dispose of it as you want, for example you may transfer it/sell it to someone else. Many of these applications of course are still in a very early stage, but the potential is almost unlimited.

SmSh: So, are these gonna be worth millions some day?

Vittorio: Pretentious answer? Why not.

Serious answer? It's the market that decides the value and the community plays a key role in this process. Then the size of the collection definitely influences that as well. Last year, a 1/1 art piece by Beeple sold for $69 Millions. The biggest and most valuable collections in the market at the moment are Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, and each of the 10,000 pieces of these collections can be worth somewhere between $300k and $1.5M. We do not want to be naive and think that we are going to reach those figures, but for sure our efforts will be funneled in providing as much value as possible to our NFTs holders and to our community.

SmSh: Tell us about the artworks. There's 219 pieces?

Alessandro: The collection is a set of 219 unique art works, with each of the designs representing a snapshot of Shanghai's 2022 Lockdown — each illustration being based on real events, 20 stories of everyday joys, smiles and difficulties.

Our idea is to simplify things by capturing the essence of a moment, removing the background noise to build a memory framed in space and time as the beginning of a story. The illustrations are simple, clean, essential, minimal, and the message that they carry is uncluttered, direct, unfiltered, able to resonate to everyone, no matter the age, sex or geography.

SmSh: Plans for the future?

Alessandro: One thing is for sure. We are not here as a pop-up shop and we hope to continue this project. We are already looking into online to offline integrations — events, panels, parties — that we could organize once the lockdown is over and life gets back to some sort of normality. We'd like to have a place where the community can be there and support each other around this specific topic and moment in time (lockdown in Shanghai), and we want to continue doing good for both our community and the people that do not have much through charitable initiatives.

Soon we will release a roadmap, so that we can explain to the people what we plan to achieve and why we want them to get close to our collective.

And last but not least... We want to keep telling stories in our own way!

SmSh: Can you run us through how the purchasing process works?

Vittorio: It's actually not a super straightforward process if you are starting from scratch, but in general it would pretty much look as follows:

Step 1: Buy Ethereum through a regulated broker or exchange

Step 2: Set up a Metamask wallet and transfer your ETH into the wallet.

Step 3: Bridge your ETH on the Polygon blockchain

Step 4: Connect to an NFT marketplace – we have used OpenSea to sell our NFT collection

Step 5: Buy your NFT using "ETH in Polygon" from your Metamask wallet.

SmSh: What are the price ranges?

Vittorio: Our NFT collection prices range from 0.01 Ethereum (depending on exchange rate - around 23 dollars) to 0.025 Ethereum (depending on exchange rate - around 60 dollars)

SmSh: But it's for charity though, eh?

Alessandro: Absolutely - giving back is one of our main drivers. Proceedings from this project go to a great organization that supports people on the streets impacted by the lockdowns. You can learn more on our website -


Catch up with and follow Stay Negative at their links:

Website -

Instagram -

Twitter -

OpenSea -