The artworks of Nishimoto always exude a sense of tranquility. Never expect lots of colors or flashy shapes. His designs are extraordinarily simple, sometimes even so dull that they can be easily overlooked if you place them at home. “When looking at familiar objects, I would try to imagine how would they look if they were made of wood,” said Nishimoto. You would get so confused when realizing this thing that has the appearance of crème caramel was actually made of wood. Are we tricked by the artist, or are we misled by our preconceptions?
The experience of working at the production line of a mass-produced furniture manufacturer taught Nishimoto the necessary skills of operating machines and manufacturing knowledge. “My daily tasks gave me a chance to learn the knowledge and techniques of production. This also gave me an increasing urge to design something for myself,” said Nishimoto. He said the urge was similar to the desire of an athlete to run on the field, and he simply let the desire to bring him to the path of art. “I don’t have any special skills; any carpenter can do what I am doing. I don’t want to over-focus on craftsmanship. I wish people can forget about the concept of skills when they look at my artworks.” The desire to attain fine craftsmanship and perfection is replaced by the curiosity of challenging people’s preconceptions by altering the shape, color, size, and patterns of the familiar objects. “I am not at all interested in mimicking the details or making things that look almost real. It is so boring to reproduce simply the appearance of objects.”
“If you could devote yourself to the creation process, the result can always be charming even when the design is simple,” said Nishimoto Ryota.
400g is a project where Nishimoto Ryota made many transparent plastic containers of different shapes but a consistent volume of 400g. Through this project, he attempted to explore the many fascinating possibilities of containers, which are usually given a dull appearance. “I would focus on my primary idea and neglect the parts that don’t interest me; this makes the production process more enjoyable and drives me to persist on creating.” Our constant observation and usage accumulate to become a fixed conception, which blocks us from seeing the familiar objects with a new perspective, “Everyday objects are essential to my creative process. They inspire me to wonder how would they look if we take away their functions. Some of the objects appear unusable, is it because of our inability to see other faces of it? Through art, I would like to portray them from an unexplored angle.” Nishimoto insists on seeing things to their minute details, but rather contradictorily, he prefers to leave his works unfinished. “Woodworks are often sanded smooth until no scratch marks are to be seen, but I always remind myself not to make it too perfect. I would leave them at a rough state and never spend unnecessary effort on my art piece. However, it is always a tough question to decide when is the work done.”
City dwellers often judge an object based on its usability. What Nishimoto delves into is, however, any potential that is unrelated to usability. This is because he can see the use of uselessness. The things he creates are in simple-shape and made of easily accessible materials. They are not to be valued for their craftsmanship, underneath these ordinary-looking objects are charisma awaiting to be discovered.