Riyo Nemeth was born in Tokyo in 1989 and currently lives and works in London. She makes works with simple effects and digital processes.
If you had to explain your work to a stranger what would you say? I try to interrupt people’s assumptions and perceptions of what they see and create things that allow us to look differently.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I use Photoshop, Final Cut and paper to try things/effects out and see what I can do with them – it’s an experimental process. I’m interested in repeating a simple act and seeing how an object or image can gradually transform. I’m also interested in trying to create a physical object that seems to have been digitally edited or augmented, in terms of distorting perspective or tangibility and in merging the delineation between digitally-generated simulation and physical space.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? I’m interested in work that is open to interpretation but at the same time leads people down certain ways of thinking, and is open to conversation.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I’m interested in the phrase ‘suspension of disbelief’ – which is to invest in what you see in order to immerse yourself in experience, regardless of how exactly it mirrors reality. This is applied in plays, movies, video games and any other mimetic representation or simulation. Also doctored images from magazines, advertisements and movies, and how easily people are drawn into what they see.
How has your work developed within the past year? I’ve started to use myself as subject matter which I had never thought of doing before.
How has living in London affected your art practice? London has different types of scenes and people in different areas so where you live and work affects what you do, so I always move around in the city. It’s really exciting to find out what other people are doing when you go to some areas you’ve never been before.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’m currently working on an ongoing series of events called Your Body is a Temple at The New Gallery in Peckham, London. It is a one-night event as well as a sort of a collective with some people I work with, exploring our interests in reality, virtuality, symbolism in visual art, music and performance.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and other artists are struggling with these days, and how do you see it developing? I think it’s hard to make the first step and start showing your work and getting involved with other people in art because there are so many artists these days, but having a website expands the possibility you have to show your work. Also the way of thinking about how to construct relationships between materials and images is really unstable, so there are so many trends and it sometimes becomes difficult to see where your work ends and the rest of everything else begins. It’s difficult to predict how things will develop, but I think right now there are a lot of things happening very fast with a very short lifespan. What will be interesting to see is what comes along that can last longer. The next few years will tell.
What’s your favorite thing about London? London seems to exist on a line between Europe and America. Being in either would mean you ended up too tied into one, but with London it’s easy to get a sense of the various things going on more globally. But it’s still near enough to other European cities so I can see what’s going on there too.
What are your thoughts about the art scene in London? The southeast is interesting area, mostly around Peckham. There are a lot of small galleries and warehouse studios opening up as of recently and most of them are run by young people so there are a lot of new ideas and possibilities.
What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? Haroon Mirza at Lisson Gallery.
What do you do when you’re not working on art? I see friends, I read – I’m reading Le Crime Parfait and the Duchamp/Cabanne dialogues at the moment.
What are you really excited about right now? Some new software and effects that I’m trying to use.
What are your plans for the next year? Going back to college.
Any upcoming shows we should know about? I’m showing at Sassoon Gallery right now in a show called Things:Happening and I’m presenting the third installment of Your Body is a Temple at New Gallery. I’m also planning an online exhibition and also have a show in Bari, Italy at Galleria Omphalos in coming up.
What’s your absolute favorite place to be? I can’t choose one because places are always changing and I’m always changing my mind as well.
Favorite music? Aids-3D, oOoOO, Universal Swimsuit, Holy Other, Hype Williams, How to Dress Well, Salem, Zola Jesus, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Nite Jewel, David Bowie, Soft Cell, Talking Heads…
What were you like in high school? I think I was a normal girl like everybody else.