Nepenthe Zone (NFT)

Ongoing series of site-specific simulations, 2022-

“Welcome to Nepenthe.
You came here to forget.
Don’t you remember?”


The Arrival

This GIF is the first in the NFT series that has been created from Nepenthe Zone (Seoul Edition 2022), an open-world game about a mysterious island rumoured to make visitors forget their sorrows.

Named after the elixir for forgetting from Greek mythology, Nepenthe Zone is also inspired by the architecture of healing environments and the poetic travelogues of Basho. The GIF series encapsulates key moments of the player's journey.

I’ve included this work in the Tribute to Herbert W. Franke as it relates to his novel Der Orchideenkäfig (The Orchid Cage), where an alien planet is discovered with one fully-automated – but abandoned – city. This theme of ‘Ubi sunt?’ (‘Where are they now?’) is something I think about often. What might our present look like from the future? Ruined environment or empty utopia?

75% of the proceeds from primary sales will be donated to the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke, supporting the preservation and legacy of his artwork.

The GIFs were made from screen captures of the 2022 edition of the game which was commissioned for the group exhibition "Cloud Walkers" at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea, September 2, 2022–January 8, 2023.

GIF 1280x720px, 10fps, 9.8mb
Original Game built in Unreal Engine, Modelled in Rhino3D.
Soundtrack produced on Elektron Digitone FM Synthesizer.
Additional 3D Modelling by Robin Simpson.


Exhibition at ‘Cloud Walkers’

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
March 2018


Exhibition Announcement’, e-flux, August 2022


Written, Programmed, and Edited
by Lawrence Lek

Related Projects

The tropical island setting Nepenthe Zone is connected with the sister project Nepenthe Valley. 
︎︎︎ Nepenthe Valley (2022), originally commissioned by HORIZONS for Art Dubai. 

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