The tomb guardians of ancient China have long conjured alluring images of otherworldly beings and spiritual warfare. Traditionally buried within imperial tombs as late as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), these iconographic sculptures summon the power of divine and earthly elements to ward off demons as well as keep the souls of the deceased from wandering the earth. Taking the form of mythological beasts or divine warriors, the guardians evolved over time to incorporate fierce bestial symbolism, mythological elements, and spiritual triumph over vanquished demons.
Rite of Passage gathers eight select Chinese tomb guardians from public museum collections, permuting and resurrecting them into dynamic life forms via the recollection and memory of AI consciousness. Within the NFT collection, each 1/1 tomb guardian exists in one of seven states at any given time. Newly collected or transferred on the blockchain, the art exists in its most lively and animated state. Lack of activity or interaction with each subsequent passing month digitally erodes the power and life force of the tomb guardian and its NFT, both in the collection and the collector’s wallet. We encourage the transfer, resale, and sharing of these pieces to keep the spirit and cultural ethos of these historic works of art alive.
THE MoPAr COLLECTION: The full NFT collection remains permanently on-chain and on view here on the website. Upon acquisition, the life and death cycle of the collective tomb guardians are documented, their states displayed in real time on OpenSea.
Click to explore each tomb guardian’s art history and journey.