Sketches collected in a shoebox to become non-fungible tokens (NFTs), this is what Vico Cham will highlight in Vico’s Artism Gallery, an art gallery supporting persons with disabilities (PWD).
Who is Vico Cham?
Victor Francesco “Vico” Cham, 32, is an award-winning artist that has an autism spectrum disorder diagnosed at the age of two.
During his preschool, Vico already showed his strong interest in art. His teachers even mentioned that Vico was especially adept at picking and matching colors.
And when he was eight, he was playing with the art materials of his parents who are both architects. He then grabbed a blueprint and started to paint his favorite cartoon show on the back while sitting on the floor.
“I was in the shower and I did not know that he was in the office. When I asked what he was painting, he replied ‘Blues Clues, mommy,’” his mother said.
As time passed by, young Vico started to create sketches of people he sees each day in a scratch paper, like his mom, his teachers, his relatives, and his self-portrait.
Through all the sketches he made, his mother never get tired of storing these artworks into a shoebox.
However, Vico was transferred Shine SPED Center in Pasig City from another school in Greenhills, San Juan, where he experienced one of the most challenging phases of his education.
But slowly, the young boy regained his confidence and began to show his talents and excel in arts, which his school also supported.
“May skill na siya talaga. In our art and crafts activities dun lumabas ‘yung skills niya, ‘yung talent niya na ‘yun. His mom honed his skills further,” said Debbie Enriquez, Shine SPED Center case manager.
Vico also likes to draw celebrities, copying from a photograph of that person.
He has already drawn celebrities like Iya Villania, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, Myx VJ Robi Domingo, and American Idol runner-up David Archuleta.
“I like Enchong Dee, the Gigger Boys, A-Pop, Diva Girls. I like watching television, ‘Shoutout’. I have a lot of drawings. I like Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’ and I like Justin Bieber and David Archuleta. I like to sing ‘How Great is Our God,’” Vico shared.
Vico Cham’s Awards
Showing his strong interest since he was a kid, Vico brought his passion to the outside world and it became his lifelong advocacy.
Vico Cham proved that his disability did not hinder to showcase his ability, some of the awards he earned are:
- 2013 — NO. 1 EMPLOYEE, from Project Inclusion Network
- 2014 — Appointed as BEST BUDDIES AMBASSADOR
- 2014 — Vico Cham’s “CLOWN FISH” won for the Philippines in Autism Trust Foundation, Dubai
- 2015 — Apolinario Mabini Award for PWD OF THE YEAR and MODEL EMPLOYEE
- 2016 — HONORARY AWARDEE FOR VISUAL ARTS, ANCA (Autistic Network of Community Achievers), Vancouver
- 2016 — ANGELS AWARD, from Autism Society Philippines
- 2017–3rd. Place ENTREPRENEUR AWARD, ANCA
- 2017 — Nomination for EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL ARTS, SENIA (Special Education Network and Inclusion Asia), Yokohama
- 2017 — One of the six HANDPAINTING ARTIST ON PINYA at the Fashion for Hope, New York, organized by Fashion Arts Autism Benefit of Autism Hearts Foundation
- 2018 — TOP 50 FINALIST Paralym Art World Cup with his entry “SINULOG”
- 2019 — GAWAD RIZAL, from the Lyceum Philippines for Excellence in Visual Arts
- 2019 – 3RD PLACE Paralym Art World Cup with his entry “KADAL TAHAW”; First Filipino to win in the international competition
The Shoebox Sketches
His artworks that were stored in a shoebox are now upgraded – making it available to the public through NFTs.
“The Shoebox Sketches” collection will be sold as “phygital” pieces, meaning, it will be NFTs with a physical counterpart.
Vico will also sell six of his paintings entitled “Cleopatra” during the art gallery.
Future utility for Vico Cham NFT holders is also planned in the future, with access to giveaways of Vico’s past works as possible benefits for token holders.
Proceeds of the sale will go to Vico’s Artism Gallery and the No One in Need Movement Foundation.
This article is published on BitPinas: Filipino NFT Artist Profiles: Vico Cham and a Shoebox Full of NFTs
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