MEET THE ARTIST: NHOZAGRI
It’s a whole new year, and a whole new world: you are now entering Super Nhozagri Kingdom (✿◡‿◡)
Our first artist collaboration of 2023 is with the wonderful Beijing based multidisciplinary artist, Nhozagri. We were completely captivated by her playful works which explore world building with cute, surreal and celestial aesthetics, and her use of almost every medium you can think of (sculpture, animation, painting, plushies, independent publishing…), and we thought it made sense that she add another medium to her list in the form of a collaborative clothing collection. We worked together for over a year to create a 12-piece collection that combines Nhozagri’s boundless imagination with our signature genderless style.
So that you can get fully immersed in the wonderful world of Nhozagri, we sat down to ask the artist a few nosey questions about her works, the cute characters she creates, and the world in which they exist.
Hello Nhozagri, how are you?
Hello! Good thank you ^_^
Please can you introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about you; where are you from, and what sort of art do you create?
I’m Nhozagri, an artist based in Beijing, China. My works involve painting, sculpture，animation, independent publishing and more. With my work, I attempt to construct a cosmological system of self-contained lifeforms, by researching the spiritual dimension and its various unconventional narrative models.
You work in lots of different mediums, why do you like this variety?
Inspiration is always coming to my mind, like rain falling from the sky. And so I just catch that inspiration with a container, like using a cup to hold water. The container is my medium; sometimes I’m in a hurry to catch that moment of inspiration so I use the most convenient material around me, other times I choose the most suitable medium to hold and explore the inspiration. It’s random, really.
Which medium is your favourite to work in, and why?
Recently I’ve really been enjoying working on canvas, and it’s two-dimensional nature. Paintings are created as a result of action, like a two dimensional plane dipped into the soup of consciousness.
We are really drawn to your work and the way it blends cute and surreal, otherworldly aesthetics. Can you talk to us about your work and how you want it to make people feel?
So happy you love my work! I actually don’t spend too much time in the studio - I focus on creating for several months each year, but the rest of the time I spend absorbing energy, making sketches and recording ideas and studying. I want each of my pieces to be full of energy, so people that see them feel that they’re on an adventure, in a dream, or being hypnotised to feel love and warmth. But I also want my works to have some negative elements, like blood, fighting…because nothing is stronger than love and warmth that has risen out of pain and despair.
We’re super excited to be releasing our collaborative collection with you! How are you feeling about the collection finally being out?
I’m so pleased! Lazy Oaf is a wonderland for my creatures. This collaboration has been beautiful - it’s a new experience for me in my world.
Do you have a favourite piece/outfit from the collection?
It’s too difficult to pick just one - I love them all!
You’ve described your works as “a cosmological system of self-contained lifeforms”. When you’re creating new characters for this world, do you give them personalities or stories in your mind?
They all have their own stories and identities, but they aren’t given by me. They bring them to me themselves, and I find them and describe them. Many of them have their own tribe, such as the “give the game away” tribe. Then sometimes they are failed dumplings who have been boiled too much so that all their filling falls out - they might have failed as dumplings, but they’re still cute to me…like when a baby makes a mistake. But yes, each toy is a materialised story.
We absolutely love your giant sculptures, and we know you’ve got to take them to some really cool places before. Do you have a favourite place where you’ve exhibited your works?
I like to show my work outdoors or in nature but I haven’t had many opportunities so far. Nature, and the universe, are a source of inspiration for me. This year I really wish to have an exhibition by the sea.
You built us our very own custom inflatable character to shoot the collection alongside. Can you tell us a bit about how you made them, and whether you gave them a name?
Yes! Its name is Hugge (the opposite of crowding), and it's a gaseous fluid. Many citizens from super Nhozagri studio come to hug it and they each have left their mark on them, that’s what the colours are. Hugge was born from hugs.
Who are some other artists that you really admire, or who inspire you?
I like an art group called Paperrad - their works make me feel passion and freedom. Every time I see their works, I feel like I’m in a playground, or a fun house!
Do you have anything exciting coming up in 2023 that you can tell us about?
I’m going to turn more inspiration into artworks, and travel to more places on earth (and hopefully visit Lazy Oaf)!
If people want to support you and your work, where can they find you?
My personal web is: www.nhozagri.me And Instagram page: @Nhozagri