Gilles Bonugli Kali, a genesis EOS community member and artist known as GBK, has dedicated more than 20 years to capturing the diverse beauty of Earth and its people. A self-taught artist from the South of France, GBK enjoys the challenge of learning different artistic disciplines from videography to graphic design. This enthusiastic approach to life has always flowed from the idiom that “Diversity Makes Sense”. In fact, all life in the universe flows from diversity through plants, trees, minerals, musical styles and human ethnicities of all kinds. GBK’s artistic portfolio represents this commitment to diversity and is recently fueled by his digital nomadic lifestyle that allows him to travel the world with Yoshi, his soulmate.
Interview with GBK
dotGems: You have been working in digital art and design for a while now. Is it the first time you publish your works as NFTs? How do you think NFTs can benefit digital artists?
GBK: I think it’s a long time overdue tool for digital artists who have been rejected from the art segment for too long – specifically the economic side of art. Digital artists deserve this right, having a tool that can secure value to their work, as any other traditional medium artist. To go further, I think we are far from seeing what NFTs can bring to only to the art industry but to other aspects of our everyday life. Many use cases have not even been invented. These are for sure exciting times we are living in now!
dotGems: The Chestahedron is a central element in the NFT Artefacts Collection. What inspired you to use this specific geometric shape?
GBK: I really liked it at first sight. I saw a very gracious shape in it. Then I did some research and found out about its creator Frank Chester. The more I read about its properties, the more I was inspired to create with it.
dotGems: The first time I saw your works were in the early days of the EOS Blockchain. Were you already involved in the EOS Community back then? If so what attracted you to the EOS community?
GBK: In 2017, I had the chance to be invited by a friend to attend AfrikaBurn in South Africa. There I met Brock (Pierce) and many other crypto enthusiasts who were all part of Camp Unicorn. I had already bought some crypto a few weeks earlier and found this to be the perfect opportunity to learn more about it.
During our conversations, I heard Brock talking about EOS and how powerful this blockchain would be. I kept doing research and even bought a ticket for the London blockchain conference the following September. There I met more people from the EOS core team. After this event that I began my experimentations with the Chestahedron.
dotGems: Do you remember where you were when the EOS Main Net was launching in early June 2018?
GBK: Yes, I clearly remember, I was in NYC with Yoshi, we were planing our Burning Man wedding!
dotGems: One of the card variations in your upcoming NFT Collection features designs rendered on Kimonos, which reflects your involvement in the fashion world, being an art director for Yoshi Zen Couture.
What’s the mission and inspiration of Yoshi Zen Couture?
GBK: Yoshi Zen aims to bring wearable art to dance floors across the world. A lot of our designs are inspired by the fantasy worlds seen in films such as Star Wars or video games like Assassin’s Creed. We use these style inspirations to create visually stunning clothing pieces that are versatile enough to wear as part of a festival costume and also during everyday life. Many of the materials that we use were either sourced during our travels around the world or self-designed via laser cutting techniques or custom fabric printing like with the wearable art kimonos. We’ve found that when you wear something that stands out, you always receive positive attention, and it can lead you to connect with more people. Our goal is for everyone who wears Yoshi Zen to feel really confident and badass, then they go out and create some amazing memories.
dotGems: We love the Chestahedron Kimonos! Were they ever produced as clothing or do they exist digitally only? What are our chances to get to wear them IRL?
GBK: Thanks, Not all of them are available IRL, we only produced 9 kimonos with the same design. I am thinking of producing more if the community shows an interest for sure. We like to keep it rare though, every piece will be limited and numbered.
dotGems: NFT wearables as a form of individual expression in AR or VR have a huge potential. How do you see NFTs can play a role in the fashion industry? Have you thought about producing wearables in form of NFTs?
GBK: It is really interesting to see how things unfold yes. We have been using digital tools for a year now to model and prototype our future physical pieces. We also propose a custom design service where again we use 3D rendering to show clients how a piece would look when produced.
We haven’t dropped any wearable NFTs yet, but it’s only a matter of time as we already have all the tools to do it. Regarding the role of NFTs in the fashion industry, I guess they can obviously become a vector to promote future physical designs that brands are selling online. I think they also can become a good indicator for brands to test out designs and see which are likely to be successful in real life.
dotGems: The way you display the Chestahedron in your compositions gives a mysterious vibe. It reminds us a bit of a spaceship or alien object from outer space, that somehow has found its way to planet earth.
Just hypothetically, what do you think would be the message aliens would send through the Chestahedron to humanity? What kind of distant world do your objects come from?
GBK: Thanks that is a great description! I guess the message they would send through it is that things can be more simple than they are now. That people do not necessarily have to always rely on a centralized trust authority. I know blockchain is still an obscure concept for most people (fortunately less and less every day), but I do believe that it can help people to gain more freedom: that collectively we can be THE global trust, without always having to ask permission to some central entity to do simple things, as transferring value, borrowing money or selling art…
Regarding the aesthetic side of my comps, I always try to keep it classy, and mysterious as you said. I try to communicate how powerful this tool can be. Everyone likes to have his or her favourite protection medallion or artifact, It’s also in this direction that some of these images have been created.
dotGems: A while back you’ve decided to lead a nomadic lifestyle. How has this decision influenced your life and creative process?
GBK: I’ve now been nomadic now for over 2 years, mostly travelling around Thailand, Bali, and Europe. I love the lifestyle- every day I get to make my own adventure. I’ve been really inspired by all the natural beauty I’ve seen during my travels. It never ceases to amaze me how epic nature is. I try to reflect some of this beauty when shooting content or creating digital art.
On the other hand, moving around so much definitely slows down how much art I end up producing. Since I don’t have a set routine, sometimes it’s hard to get into a creative workflow. For example, when I create a digital composition I need to be focused for hours before finding the right creative path, but sometimes on a lucky day “flow state” happens in a blink of an eye.
GBK Chestahedrons - NFT Artefacts Release: March 2021
dotGems is excited to present an exquisite collection of GBK’s EOS-inspired art works as our first NFT Collectible series released on EOS. The NFT scene on EOS is just getting started and this first drop allows collectors from all over the world to claim their share of this historic first EOS NFT release. Make sure to follow us on social media to catch all of the upcoming promotional events, such as our upcoming virtual reality gallery showcasing some of the art works contained in this release.
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✅ Learn more about the upcoming EOS Fan Art Challenge
✅ Read the dotGems Monthly Vol. 1 Issue #1