Artist Talks: Poly Dadi On Finding Stillness In Motion.
The Palm Creator Engagement Program recognizes artists as the foundation of the new creator economy. Rooted in community, the program has, at its core, the goal of elevating and amplifying the brilliant works of artists across the Palm network.
In this month’s Palm Creator Engagement Program instalment, we’re spotlighting visual artist and full-time game developer Poly Dadi. New to the NFT creator community, Poly Dadi began creating under this alias in August 2021 as a way to consciously awaken his imaginative inner child and detach from creative judgment. His work explores themes of transitional space, time, and dichotomy, which is evident in his assured talent to produce the energetic tension of mobility and displacement in visuals and surface detail.
Read the full interview below to learn more about Poly Dadi’s creative process and experience as an NFT creator.
What is your greatest inspiration for creating work?
Inspiration… I think the desire to create is almost automatic. To conceive an image/idea is involuntary, like a dream, but the creation process is maybe more deliberate. To me, it’s a way to process my thoughts. A way to visually recognize, and organize disconnected ideas, memories, and curiosities.
I grew up in Taiwan, later studied in Australia, and for the last 7 years, I’ve worked and lived in Finland. My cultural influences, identity, and interests are naturally diverse and at times hard to make sense of.
What themes do you explore in your art?
I don’t think I create with a specific intention or theme. I let the idea lead me to some extent. I’m trying to keep a childish openness to make connections and to summon images that I only start to understand when I make them.
I began working as Poly Dadi recently and the name is a conscious way to depart from “myself”, or my day-job self. To form ideas without judgment. To make images just so I can see it and make sense of it. As if I’m channeling a child and father all at once. The child creates and explores freely, and then the father scrutinizes, edits, and manipulates.
With that said, I’m generally fascinated by time, contradictions, transitional spaces, definitions, jokes, and the act of editing or curating.
What does it mean to “find pleasure in the inconclusive?” How can the unknowable be a source of pleasure or inspiration?
I want to be comfortable with the inconclusive. I want to leave just enough room in the work to flirt, to suggest, to let the viewer fill the gap.
This pleasure must be more or less universal. Like in people, we enjoy some level of engagement, but it’s better to have some mystery too.
Tell us about the use of snakes in your work. Is there any significance?
It felt interesting to visualize something in motion, but seemingly also static. A moving snake between obstacles, without head and tail, creates a sense of endless tension. Like experiencing a shepherd tone auditory illusion, or sensing a subliminal message.
Tell us more about your creative process.
My process might have developed from my day job (making games). I generate and document ideas periodically. They are then prioritized and tested to see which ones stick. Bad ideas or bad variants are killed.
I like to see an idea realized, which means I’d start to work on it enough to imagine the result. Often I’ll try various takes, so I can curate and edit. It’s a conscious cycle of adding stuff, and then deleting or pivoting.
It’s easy to fall into a pseudo-activity state, where you end up just busy making “stuff”… so it’s important to assess the work. To drop the bad parts and amplify the good parts deliberately. And then, of course, to know when to leave it alone.
Can you talk about your current series?
Are you referring to those stacks of rocks I posted on Instagram?
I was pondering the idea of balance…like work/life balance, yoga, or mindfulness, etc. If you image search “balance”, the results always show these stacks of smooth rocks by a beach. Kind of a motivational, wisdom stock image… I guess people find it satisfying to see things arranged in equilibrium.
I created these clips because I wanted to see the rocks in irregular continuous motion, but not quite falling. I’m not sure it’s a series, but I’ll work on some idea, see how it develops, and maybe it becomes something.
Tell us about your career before NFTs. How is it different now?
My career has been in game development and I’m still a full-time game developer. The job gave me the tools to be efficient. You know, things you’d typically see on a CV: creative problem-solving, collaboration, prioritizing tasks, and analytical thinking.
In my early career, I’ve worked on mostly 3D game assets. The last 7 years have been more focused on UI/UX and game design. It’s rewarding to design for a broad audience and to know that your game is played by tens of millions of players. By dipping my toe into NFTs, I’d want to explore my taste and methods of expression. Hopefully, find an audience.
When did you first hear the term NFT?
I bought some cryptocurrencies back in 2017 and heard about CryptoKitties. At the time, I didn’t know them as NFTs and I had also dismissed the concept based on its aesthetics.
I hadn’t been aware of any other development in this space until Beeple and CryptoPunks popped up in the news earlier this year.
What prompted you to submit your work to the Palm Creator Engagement Program?
My online presence is so young, I need to establish connections, and I can surely benefit from the support. I also got a good impression from Palm’s mission of creating an efficient/cleaner NFT ecosystem. More importantly, I appreciate Palm’s desire to work with creators.
What’s next for you?
While I have a full-time job and a young family still, the limitations will help me focus on the important stuff.
I have a list of ideas, for individual pieces and perhaps collections. My current goal is to be consistent with my practice. The work will refine and grow in time, I’m looking forward to seeing my future pieces.
Browse Poly Dadi’s work on: