Riya was born and raised in Hong Kong. Her work reflects the myriad cultural influences and experiences that have shaped her identity; and the way she perceives the world – a paradox of simultaneous connection and individualistic isolation. Riya’s art is east meets west, traditional meets modern, and spiritual meets material. She combines visual representations of traditional Eastern (primarily Indian and Chinese) cultures with styles and symbols of modern Western cultures to comment on the state and psychology of our society, and our obsession with the self, power, and material consumption. We try to find happiness, beauty and peace externally, forgetting that this is our true nature. The state of bliss we are constantly searching for exists within us the whole time, and connects all of us, if we just allow ourselves to see it.
Through a graphic and often very intricately detailed presentation, Riya aims to break down social constructions of difference and divisions by portraying juxtapositions, as a metaphor for the barriers that we create as a society; and tries to engage viewers to reflect on their impermanent identities in contemporary society and remind them of their true place in the greater universe as pure and eternal beings. There are often hidden messages – shapes, images, text – within her work, so that the viewing experience is interactive and thought-provoking.