An art piece from Chinese ink painting master Qi Baishi has been turned into an NFT. The NFT is the first instance of Baishi’s work being digitalized, and will be up for grabs at an upcoming auction in Shanghai.

The NFT represents Baishi’s Xie Yi-styled painting, ‘Shrimps.’ It will accompany various other NFT artworks at an auction hosted by Shanghai Jiahe Auction on December 31st.

Baishi, who was renowned for his paintings of shrimps and insects, first created the painting in 1945 when he was 81. More than 75 years on, and with the help of NFT art platform TopHolder, the collector of ‘Shrimps’ has digitalized the art piece and posted it on social media platform Sina Weibo, after receiving permission from Baishi’s family to do so.

Baishi is regarded as one of the most illustrious and expensive modern Chinese ink painters of the 19th and 20th centuries. Since his passing in 1957, his works have often fetched millions of yuan at auction houses, with one such creation, ‘Twelve Landscape Screens’, becoming the 8th most expensive painting of all time after it sold for a whopping $148.7 million at an auction in 2017. With this in mind, Shanghai Jiahe Auction price the original ‘Shrimps’ painting at tens of millions of yuan, with its NFT counterpart estimated to auction at between 300,000 to 800,000 yuan (or $47,100 to $125,500).

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