The world of NFTs is brimming with derivative projects that all do more or less the same thing and offer little to no real utility to their end users. Furthermore, many projects are extremely insular and exclusive, preventing outsiders from joining in the conversation and taking part. However, there are those projects that approach the whole NFT experience in a totally different way. Much to my satisfaction, it seems that Mimic Shhans is in fact one of these rare projects that puts fun and community first and leaves out all the stuff that makes the majority of NFTs boring. Let’s learn a little more about the artist behind Mimic Shhans and find out how a little black cat is making big waves …
A Cat Named Niki
Every artist needs inspiration, something that drives them to create and build. That inspiration can take many different forms, and for Seoul-based artist Shhan , his exists in the form of an adorable Russian blue cat named Niki. Yes indeed, it’s the charisma and personality of Niki that motivates Shhan to create his many beautiful works of art that all feature an often stylized and quirky black cat.
And where does the name Shhan come from? Well, it’s actually the letters that connect the initials of the artist’s real name, Seunghun Han. Oh, and in the Shhan Universe, Shhan is a mysterious creature that takes the form of a black cat. Initially Shhan began posting his work on Instagram and has since garnered a following of nearly 12,000 followers. Pretty impressive!
It was only in June 2021 that Shhan actually discovered NFTs on OpenSea . A few months later, on March 17th 2022, the first Mimic Shhans minted to OpenSea. The first sale then took place on June 27th. This effectively gave rise to an entirely new universe known only as “The Shhan” that was born of a collection of NFT works.
The Magical Mimic Shhans
Shhan put a lot of time and effort into building Mimic Shhans, often spending hours outside of his already busy office job preparing for the launch. However, despite all his planning, he asked himself exactly what he wanted Mimic Shhans to do, and this was what he decided:
The answer was set. I just want a black cat named Shhan, inspired by the beloved Niki, to be loved by others. That was enough. “I want to dress my beloved Niki with the items of my favorite works!”
And so it was done, and Mimic Shhans was born!
Now I’m not going to tell you everything about Mimic Shhans or give you a spiel about the features or any of that. Is it a 10K generative NFT collection? Yes. Are there a ton of different traits? Yes. In terms of the way the collection was put together, Mimic Shhans is pretty unremarkable. But that’s not the point. There are some key differences that do set Mimic Shhans apart, and it’s these aspects I’d like to take a closer look at.
An Enduring Original Culture
First and foremost, one key difference with Mimic Shhans is that it’s CC0. Now this is a pretty bold move since it means that pretty much anyone can do anything they want with any Mimic Shhan, regardless of whether they own a Shhan or not. We actually discussed the potential benefits and disadvantages of using CC0 with NFTs in this article we recently dropped. Despite the potential downsides, so far, it looks Mimic Shhans’ approach is working out pretty darn well.
But it goes beyond t-shirts and merchandise. Indeed, the Mimic Shhans community has gone the extra mile and set up their own IRL events with Mimic Shhans on display and many community members in attendance. Just take a look at this gathering that recently took place in China. If this isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is…
Now while it may be too early to tell, it actually looks like Mimic Shhans is really succeeding when it comes to community building. In fact, I’d argue that it’s gone a little further than that and managed to create its own subculture, but one that isn’t exclusive in any way, shape, or form. I don’t really know much about the Shhans or the community, at least not on a personal level, but I feel like I could easily fit in and participate—and that’s pretty incredible.
At present there are around 2.6K Mimic Shhans owners, and if you take a look at the Mimic Shhans Twitter feed, you’ll see plenty of posts with holders and fans sharing their photos and proudly representing Mimic Shhans. And keep in mind that we’re in (or were in) a bear market people. I think most NFT projects could only dream of this level of dedication and community.
But that’s just it—as Shhan himself put it, he just wants people to have fun and love the black cat Shhan. And if this is what artist Shhan was aiming for, well—he’s already achieved it! I get the sense that Mimic Shhans is more about fun and community building than price and trying to make a ton of money. Mimic Shhans holders just love their NFTs and love being part of something bigger than themselves. That really is a unique achievement in this often predatory and strange digital landscape.
Will The Shhan Last?
From what I’ve learned, The Shhan is something far more profound and enduring than just an image or 10K NFT project. It feels like its own entity that exists in the very substance of the universe itself, and I love that. Judging by the attitudes and behaviors of the various members of the Mimic Shhans community, I think they feel much the same way.
Will Mimic Shhans enjoy massive success and become a worldwide phenomenon in the future? It’s definitely not out of the question. But even then, if it only remains more or less as it is, I think everyone involved would be more than happy. There’s a lot of heart and authenticity in this project, and I can feel the sincerity of artist Shhan in the words he uses in his writing. It’s fantastic stuff, and definitely not something you can conjure out of nothing.
But even though Mimic Shhans is enjoying some great organic growth and development, it’s just a small part of artist Shhan’s “catverse” (not the official term), something he intends to develop over time through his continued efforts and artistic pursuits. In time, Mimic Shhans will have a place in a much wider universe that centers on those adorable felines we all know and love. It sounds pretty ambitious, but if anyone can achieve this goal, Shhan and his growing fanbase will.
I have a feeling artist Shhan has a great deal of faith in humanity, or at least in the wonders of life itself. The fact that he can create such joy out of what he’s passionate about is a testament to the largeness of his spirit and genuine nature. I think we could all learn a lot from The Shhan and the Mimic Shhans. It’s a much-needed injection of fun and community that I think the Web3 space sorely needs, and I have no doubt that The Shhan will go from strength to strength in the future. And as a concept? Well, The Shhan is eternal and ubiquitous, so that’s not something you can ever hope to erase.
You can check out Mimic Shhans on Twitter and join their Discord to stay up to date with all the latest developments with the project. Also be sure to check out their website and Shhan’s Instagram page simply because it’s a treasure trove of great Shhan content!