180 Studios resident artist showcases his passion for transmuting colour.
Ibby Njoya feels colour. “I see emotions. [Colour] is the way for me to translate some of the things that I can’t write or find the right way to say when I’m talking,” he explains. Njoya’s vivid, whimsical practice is evident in his collaborations with Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and his celebrated art installations for 180 Studios, such as Mustafa – which premiered as part of 2022’s Future Shock exhibition.
“My goal was to always be an artist and to have the freedom to create in any form,” he says. Colour is the starting point of the creative process – as is evident in this original artistic contribution to Fact.
A fluid approach to creation adds to the impression that Njoya is always motion. As a child he migrated from Cameroon to Paris to London, our interview shifts day and time as he makes his way back from Brazil and when we do speak, the call starts with him gliding through his studio in Stoke Newington. All of this activity suggests an urge to unearth that he articulates as the need to be continuously learning.
“Sometimes we hold ideas as if they are the most precious things in the world, but really they are just an element of discovery,” he asserts. “There are so many mistakes that you will make in the process of understanding. You should be able to form and mould and evolve and change again. And even at that point, when you think that it’s finished, you should allow yourself to be able to shift. There’s a beauty to that in some ways.”
Watch next: Future Shock virtual exhibition