Rifqi Amirul belongs to a fresh generation of young artists who consciously integrate technology into their art practice. His thoughtful yet experimental use of technological advancement made available to artists today, juxtaposed with musings on physical and metaphysical spaces, make him one of the few interesting art-makers to keep within our radar. Read on as the artist talks about portals, displacement, and the dark web.
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Tell us about yourself and your practice?
I’m Rifqi and I pretty much do anything. My practice involves ideas relating to transitory spaces, sentimentality, and liminality. My current medium obsessions are 3D rendering and printmaking.
What informs your practice?
Architecture and imaginative spaces. I’m currently looking at portals, other-worldly spaces, the fourth dimension, heaven, hell, purgatory.
Heavy stuff. What sparked this interest?
I think it seeded from my experience of living abroad across the straits. I was living in Johor Bahru whilst studying in Singapore. So there’s this constant routine of immigration every day. I got drawn to the whole mundane process – like queueing, waiting and looking at the rigid authoritative structures of both nations. I got inspired by spaces that define sentimentality and ideas of displacement and belonging. So architecture played an important role in my practice.
What is your process like?
Photography and drawing play an important role in creating a work. Photography as a tool for recording physical space and drawing for a psychological space.
Can you tell us more about your artworks included in the Hotel G pop up?
These were done around 2016 around my diploma years for fun, mostly. These digital collages are done in photoshop, manipulate with found and recorded images. the process for this is very deliberate, they usually finish within two days. I was obsessed with the idea of the manipulation of bodies and what my Photoshop software can do.
Guns and Hardcore was a manipulated Pieta (a portrait of Madonna holding Jesus in her arms) where Madonna is a depiction of metallic guns while Jesus is a pixelated flesh from a screenshot of AV. I think this was about the dark web and black market. Chla-Media was quite deliberate, the portrait was given by a friend and my task was to quickly manipulate the image as such without realising the manipulation looked abject.
Collaborative practices with CGI and multi-sensorial projects.
I’m inspired by collectives like Lithuanian duo Pakui Hardware and Russian Collective AES+F. Intense visuals and kind of infusing technology and art at the same time.
Any parting words for our readers?
The future is nowwwwwwwwww.
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