Many artists are using the hype around the NFT space as a new platform to get their work out in front of a wider audience. Riniifish, a young Chinese artist living in Hangzhou, has been making digital art long before this hype around NFTs appeared, but this new platform has helped her break out in the West. Her psychedelic-utopia collection, “M7 planet,” is all about from looking at those smaller and easily missed parts of our existence.
Whether it’s the scale of the Milky Way or the distance between microscopic cells in our bodies, we are often fascinated by things that are either so large or so small that they defy logic. Riniifish’s works play with the idea of the microscopic world just beyond our senses. She depicts bugs and other alien-like creatures inhabiting this strange land and presents them in a palate of highly saturated fluorescent colors. Fluorescent colors are vibrant and rare in the natural world; people who wear them are often trying to stand out and be seen. In Riniifish’s works, Florescence represents an artificial power in the will of individuals struggling against the natural world around them.
All sorts of small, strange creatures shuttle and float about in the bizarre environment of M7 planet. All the elements of this world are illogical, but the creatures are living comfortably in harmony with each other. The scenes that created in each work and way each individual creature fits in these visual stories feels alien, like a science fiction movie; they lie just beyond the reach of our senses. Yet, the alien-ness these works depict is not as far off and removed as it might seem at first glance. The real world of microscopic cells and fungi and viruses is just as strange and foreign to us even though it is found everywhere from the bacteria in a drop of water to the protein structures that make up our bodies. We are not able to perceive it without microscopes, but life at such a small scale is far beyond our imagination.
A lot of contemporary artists, like Riniifish, create art as a means of letting out their emotions. Emotions are messy, and often hard to pin down, but Riniifish works to give these emotional states specific form and character. The odd little characters in her works are often an expression of her negative emotions such as mania and depression and each one carries a specific story behind it. She takes care to stabilize these negative emotions in the world she creates. The more active and colorful these creatures are the more calm the audience feels. The negative emotions in both the artist and the viewer find themselves at home and comforted at last in these painting.
In Riniifish’s works, tiny creatures that are usually overlooked by higher beings are recognized and captured by the artist. We are often attracted by the idea of the “sublime”, but we can’t move forward if we always have our heads in the clouds. Riniifish’s works want people to pay attention to the seemingly insignificant things in life and to one’s inner world. Too many people are caught up in the value they put on what is seen on the surface of things but ignore the importance of understanding our inner world and the role it plays in how we create our personalities. With the constant barrage of information from social media, celebrity gossip, economics, and current affairs, we are encouraged to make time to explore the little things that lie just under out of view under the surface.