Riff Raff

Fffuture Fffocused Art Prize

17 Jun — 16 Jul


Image: Courtesy of Riff Raff


Salvo Las Vegas. Image courtesy of the artist. 



Clarchat Scintal. Image courtesy of the artist. 


Cabbage. Image courtesy of the artist. 


Printo Moorth. Image courtesy of the artist. 

Fffuture Fffocused Art Prize

Exhibition Preview: Friday 16 June, 5.30pm

Exhibition Runs: 17 June – 16 July 2017

Public Programme:

Artist Talk: Saturday 17 June, 2pm, Curator Panel Discussion: Saturday 1 July, 2pm, & Awards Dinner: Saturday 1 July, 7pm (private event)

The Physics Room is pleased to announce the inaugural Fffuture Fffocused Art Prize (FFAP), aiming to inspire the nation’s artists to engage with the all-important concept of the future.

“The concept of the future is both exciting and difficult, at once packed with meaning and potential meaninglessness”, say artistic duo Riff Raff, who were commissioned by The Physics Room to organize the prize. “Any investigation into the future will contain elements of both research and speculation…we’re interested to see how artists respond to this particular set of challenges.”

Four finalists have been hand-picked by Riff Raff for the FFAP group exhibition opening Friday 16th June, with the winner being announced at an awards dinner on Saturday 1st July, 2017.

The Physics Room Director, Jamie Hanton, says the FFAP offers a superb opportunity for emerging artists to exhibit in a professional gallery space, with the Supreme Award including a 6-month unpaid internship at the gallery. Given the limited funding available to the project, the prize pool will be supplemented with various items from Riff Raff’s own personal effects, including a 1997 Nissan Bluebird and 1999 Mazda Capella.

The judges for this year’s prize are Serene Hu, a former GP, and Roeland Simons, currently the national construction manager at McDonalds. “Art is for everyone”, says Hanton. “We thought it was important to include the voices of those who don’t come from an art background. Serene and Roeland both have a wealth of life experience that will make their final decision no less relevant and all the more interesting.”

The Physics Room is proud to announce the four outstanding artists who have been selected as finalists for the inaugural Fffuture Fffocused Art Prize (FFAP). Applicants were submitted through an anonymous nomination process, and were then blind assessed by the selection panel, comprised of artist duo Riff Raff. “We were impressed not only by the high quality of the submissions, but also the incredible range of practices at play, spanning painting to performance and beyond”, said Riff Raff.

The Physics Room Director, Jamie Hanton is excited by the duo’s selections. “Despite their limited curatorial experience, Riff Raff have pulled together a combination of artists who provide rigorously unique interpretations of ideas of the future, and, in some cases, what such a future or futures might look like. I’m looking forward to working with them to present and support the work in a way that maximizes engagement for both artists and the general public.”

The 2017 Finalists:


b. 2007, Pouto, Northland, NZ

The digital realm is simultaneously perplexing and enticing for Cabbage. What does it mean to be canine in a digital age? Cabbage’s work deals with the alarming absence of odour in the advancement of digital technology. In canine society, objects without a scent are not considered real. Even inanimate objects carry smell-traces picked up through their lifetime of interactions. This dogged investigation into the digital naturally raises another issue: how are animals currently represented online? Cabbage opens the door to a multi-sensory, vital, and animistic environment, beyond our limited anthropocentric understanding.

Salvo Las Vegas

b. 1975, Oamaru, NZ

Salvo Las Vegas’ sculptural investigations explore the possibilities of replication and the interfaces between handmade and industrial processes. The incongruities revealed in these processes are integral to Las Vegas, who believes the imperfections foreshadow a kind of ultimate material strength that can only arise out of mutation and sheer quantity. Their consistent pairing of anatomical forms with mass produced recreational objects brings to mind questions around over-population, natural selection and the future of material industry and production.

Printo Moorth

b. 1959, Kerikeri, Northland, NZ

Moorth undertook nursing training at Northtec, Whangarei and went on to complete graduate studies at the University of Southampton, UK. It was during their many years of voluntary field work for Medicins sans Frontieres that Moorth took an interest in painting and its healing potential. Given Moorth’s intimate experiences with the human body in all its states; damaged, diseased, in repair. It’s been recently suggested that Moorth’s paintings have a way of communicating directly with the viewer’s nervous systems rather than language-based systems of understanding. We know the human body reacts in unexpected ways to environmental factors and visceral imagery. But what is most keenly felt, when face-to-face with a Moorth painting, is resounding respite.

Charchat Scintal

b. 2005, Palmerston North, NZ

Scintal’s explorations of the paranormal, via custom made hardware built by their parents, offer an idiosyncratic attempt to introduce a fourth dimension into art making. Their visionary practice uses the body as a conduit for the future, inhabiting a tenuous artistic position between time-based media and psychic performance. The selection panel are unfazed about the controversy surrounding Scintal’s work, stating that the questions it raises around authenticity, authorship, and the increasing prominence of technology in art, only increase the work’s intrigue.


The exhibition’s public programme will include an artist talk, curator panel discussion and awards dinner. Gallery visitors will also have the opportunity to vote for a People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the end of the exhibition. 


Riff Raff originated as a semi-imaginary artist-run space started by Li-Ming Hu and Daphne Simons in mid-2016. Previous projects include: Trust Us, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2017 and Are We There Yet?, Glovebox, Auckland, 2016.