We are pleased to announce the sale for the 99 limited editions of Cai Guo-Qiang’s NFT Exploding the Self sold out in only 4.5 minutes during the Early Access sale on September 3, 2021.
First, we would like to congratulate and welcome the 99 lucky holders of Exploding the Self, many of whom are first time collectors of Cai’s work. The drop was Cai’s way of giving thanks to the community, marking the beginning of a new journey. The proceeds from the sale will go to Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai in support of the museum’s education programs.
We could not have anticipated the amount of support and new members who have joined us over the past week. As exciting as this milestone is for us, our new community has also raised some questions and shared constructive feedback. As our community’s experience is of the utmost importance to us, we hope to address your questions and provide a bit more transparency in our process.
Why did the Early Access list close so early?
The most discussed inquiry from our most recent drop was regarding the Early Access application process. We created the public whitelist that anyone could have signed up for prior to the closing date. The Early Access application was open for 5 days and the rules were announced on our website from the beginning. We received almost 500 applications for the Early Access list, and around 400 users were approved for the sale, so we can confirm the list was not exclusive by any means. However, we recognize that many people feel as if they missed out on signing up for Early Access amid an unexpected level of demand coupled with the limited number of NFTs available. For future drops, we will pursue better avenues in order to provide a more transparent and fair process to Early Access community members.
Why was my gas fee so high?
Additionally, we received a lot of feedback regarding our payment process and unexpected gas fees. While paying gas fees is a standard part of the transaction in the NFT community, we are aiming to improve the Early Access experience and ensure that we are more transparent about the fees associated with buying NFTs via TR Lab in the future. We will also explore new minting mechanics to prevent excessive gas fees in the future.
Why does TR Lab take a percentage of secondary sales?
We have also received some questions asking why TR Lab takes a percentage of secondary sales from both OpenSea and Element on top of the 2.5% already charged by the platform. The 10% fee on our end ensures the artists we work with are fairly compensated when their work changes hands, something that is common to the NFT industry. TR Lab takes a higher cut of secondary sales, as we really care about perpetual royalty for artists and institutions. Currently, the structured split within the 10% functions is as of follows — 7.5% goes to artists, and we keep 2.5%.
How is TR Lab going to enhance my collecting experience?
Finally, we are interested in developing projects that maintain long-term value and enjoyment beyond speculation and hype. With Exploding the Self, not only do holders of the NFT receive the artwork, they also gain access to an exclusive online community on TR Lab’s Discord channel where they can engage with Cai directly through Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions on the occasion of his NFT drops in the future. They will also receive invitations to future openings of Cai’s worldwide art projects for as long as they own the NFT.
Some changes that are currently in the works include updating the MetaData of the 99 NFT works on OpenSea to include the Edition ID in the title, to better differentiate between, say, Edition #88 and Edition #99 of Exploding the Self. We are also in the process of receiving a blue verification check on OpenSea, which will help deter fakes and add value to the project.
We want you to know that our community is important to us and we hear your concerns. We are taking into careful consideration the suggestions and feedback we have received thus far and looking forward to making improvements moving forward. At our early stage, we see this time as an exciting opportunity for our early community members to have ownership over getting our community jump-started, and have a say in what they want to see for upcoming product offerings and events. If you have any ideas, we would like to hear from you in our Discord for what kind of community events you would like to see in the future.
When is the next drop?
We are excited to tease our next drop which will be announced very soon later this September (hint: 🤖📖), and we can also confirm we will be collaborating with Cai on additional NFTs in the future. This is just the beginning for us, and we thank you for your patience as we continue to pioneer in the art space for a new generation!
We understand there were some shortcomings with this drop and we are looking for ways to give back to our community and for those who missed out this time around. As a young company just starting in the NFT and fine art space, we are passionate about building the next generation of the fine art community on blockchain technology for the long term with your input!
Can I join your team?
If that sounds like something you are interested in, we are currently hiring for the following remote positions:
• Operations Lead/Director
• Product Designer
• Brand Designer
• Video Editor & Digital Animator
• Junior Designer
Our ideal candidates have 1–2 years of proven experience in a similar position, and are dynamic, self-starters already in the TR Lab and/or NFT community at large. We will be posting job listings within the coming weeks, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, and feel like you could add value to our mission, we encourage you to reach out to us with your resume and pitch to email@example.com.