Based in Berlin, the illustrator/artist uses her practice to realise the thoughts in her head. She tells us more about her lively and multi-disciplinary practice below.
"My works are a contemporary reflection of our world and its unseen energies," explains Reza Hasni, an illustrator-stroke-artist born in Singapore and currently based in Berlin. Just one glance at her artworks, and you'll instantly pick up on this energy and the recurring themes she draws on: elements such as "sacred geometry" plus references to the internet, pop and club culture.
Liveliness is certainly what drives Reza's illustrations. From the fantastical to the downright unrealistic, each artwork is peppered with a dream-like quality that makes it a joy to observe and intriguing to learn about. For starters, Reza uses her medium to express her thoughts and stories about the made-up world she forms in her head. She describes these ideas as a "visual diary of images", she tells us, "which often become a visual representation of an alternate world. It is a form of escapism for me." By doing so, she deconstructs and reconstructs her stories to create her own visual language. It's a process that sounds utterly therapeutic, her way of manifesting her point of view. "In my alternate world, we're not limited by the constraints of the physical world, such as geography or gravity."
Everything she creates is fuelled by positivity and splashed with colour. And let's not forget the cryptic messages she entangles in her creative compositions. "It is highly imaginative, a little bit spiritual and pushes the viewers to dare to dream," she adds. "It encourages them to think that it's ok to be pushed out of comfortable spaces or patterns they are used to and explore the unknown. Because drawers change the world and curious minds propel us forward. These alternate worlds are ways of relearning our own realities."
What's also interesting is Reza's fusion of 2D illustration with motion, feeding into her interests in live-visual performance, music, installation, augmented reality and fashion. A host of works encompass this multi-disciplinary aspect of her practice, including a piece named Barker (Leisure system) she created for Sam Barker's show anted a video dedicated to his family. Reza worked with a collection of video footage of his family, combining her illustrative style with animation to produce a psychedelic "cosmic adventure".
C-A-T: Centre for Altered Togetherness is another example, conceived as her second solo exhibition to date. An audio-visual experience comprising six different worlds that users can travel to on their desktops, the project is a collaboration between herself plus interaction designer Screensavers and curator Mama Magnet. It was borne in lockdown, and the team collaborated virtually. "For me, the idea was not just to showcase static works but to create a whole new experience for walking through art, being a part of it, and participating with it," notes Reza. "It was empowering to build an online world for anyone to escape to in their minds while we were all dealing with the complexities of a lack of physical contact."
In the future, Reza hopes her audience will continue to interact with her work in more ways than one – she wants to bring new experiences to the viewer. What's more, her debut visual performance with DK and producer Barker (Leisure System) is launching as we speak, and she also has exciting plans to launch a collection with a fashion house later this year. The horizon is looking bright and varied for this wonderful artist.