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NFT super-brand Bored Ape Yacht Club has a Chinese rival

Bored Ape Yacht Club: images of bored monkey art
(Image credit: NFTCN/Bored Wukong)

The Bored Ape Yacht Club art collection is one of the world's most famous NFT projects, and a Chinese collection of non-fungible token cartoon monkeys has been accused of being a copy-cat project.

NFTs are the new digital art phenomenon that's boomed since last year. It enables artists to register their work on a blockchain, and sell it in online marketplaces. It can be confusing, which is why we have a guide to exactly what are NFTs.

The creator of Bored Wukong is less confused about NFTs, and insists that his works are original. Wang Wendong is the artist behind Bored Wukong, and a lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. His NFT collection features colourful bored-looking apes based on the famous character Sun Wukong, or Monkey King, from the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West.

Bored Ape Yacht Club art: images of bored monkeys

The Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project is one of the most successful, can you see similarities to Wang Wendong? (Image credit: Bored Ape Yacht Club)

While there are similarities – Bored Wukong features disinterested apes in fancy dress – it's also encouraging to find NFT art taking hold in China. The Chinese state media have warned against the financial risks around NFT trading but artists are still creating and trading.

The likenesses aren't only artistic. Just like Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs the Bored Wukong is making a lot of money. The first Bored Wukong art sold for 99 yuan ($15) last November, the current value is 8,888,888 yuan ($1,397,733) according to Chinese NFT marketplace NFTCN.

In response to accusations of plagiarism Wendong took to the Chinese social media platform WeChat to reveal each of the 390 Bored Wukong is hand-drawn for authenticity. 

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Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & Design at Creative Bloq. Ian is the former editor of many leading magazines, including digital art focused ImagineFX and 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. Ian launched the magazine X360 in 2005 and has relaunched many others. In his early career Ian wrote for music and film magazines, including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. With over 25 years' experience in both print and online journalism, Ian has worked on many leading video game and digital art brands. With a passion for video games and art, Ian combines his loves to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq. In his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.