Leon Moh Cah is a French 2d animator and film maker, interested in the beauty of everyday life.
She is a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art. Her practice involves mixing digital and traditional techniques, she uses daily observations and travels as a main source of inspiration. Her films have been screened at many festivals around the world.
This stays between us
RF: Hey Leon, fancy seeing you here. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve been involved in Rhythm and Frames. This quick chat will be mostly about your work and where you are heading, but I figured you should also let our readers know a bit about who you appeared in my world aha..
Leon: Hey Jim! For sure it isn’t the first time! About 2 years ago, you, Andi Concha and me were cycling together to the Sound Seminar of the Royal College of Art. But my bike had been robbed and I ended up with a child bike, struggling to follow you guys. I even sketched this scene…
From this moment the three of us got closer, and built together what we called the cupboard, a very small room in the RCA’s basement, where we played records and eventually started broadcasting them. The very beginning of Rhythm & Frames adventure!
RF: For those who aren’t aware, how would you summarize your work, I know you like to draw inspiration from mundane everyday moments..
Leon: Mundane shows a lack of excitement! But I’m super excited about it! …It’s true that I’m very inspired by daily life, which for me has something magical : we can identify to it. The smallest thing can be super important or relevant when a few other millions of people are experiencing it every day! This is why I’d say my work is fully based on observation. It is also quite minimalist, uses a restricted colour palette, and definitely has an Asian influence.
RF: What brought you to the RCA. It is a fairly conceptual course, with many of us including myself not having the faintest clue on how to animate. Yet you come from this highly technical background. Did RCA tempt you in any way to start creating abstract work?
Leon: I wouldn’t say I come from a highly technical background at all, it is for sure a more technical approach than RCA, but I am so far from saying I have a clue on how to animate properly, for now I would say I can make my characters move. My interest in daily life is clearly an advantage here, I can animate a character having a cup of coffee but not a fighting scene, what a coincidence…..
I came to RCA for 2 main reasons : trying to get away from a very methodological approach and to feel more free with my ideas, and going back in London, where I had lived 3 years before RCA. The two reasons meet the same point : I like how people in London and particularly in RCA are open-minded. We probably lack a little bit of this in France and its educational system.
RF: What other artists are currently inspiring you?
Leon: I am always feeling very inspired when I see the work of Nagano Chisato, Karlotta Freier , Harriet Lee-Merrion , Charlotte Ager, Onyamamoto, But also older artists like Saul Steinberg and my favourite of all times Jean-Jacques Sempé. If we really go older I love the line drawings landscapes of Egon Schiele, the paintings of Paul Klee and the woodblock prints of Kawase Hasui and Hiroshige.
RF: You’ve just graduated in this madness, how has it been for you and where do you see yourself going throughout 2021 ( i think I know half the answer to this 🙂
Leon: Graduating in 2020 has been VERY tough, especially being away from everyone. Luckily, it hasn’t split our relationship, I really feel like we’ve been in this altogether. I stayed at my parents’ house since the first lockdown, and moving back to London mid January because I would love to experience a lockdown in London. No, just cause I miss it a lot, I have hopes the madness will end eventually, and I can’t wait to work in a new studio space!! As soon as everything will be back to normal (I’m having hopes for November 2021 but it might be Spring 2022…), I am planning a world tour. The project is to draw my one-year trip entirely!
RF: Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my generic questions, I hope at the very least it exposes your work as well as some other interesting artists to the wider world. See you in London soon! xx
Leon: Thanks Jim, see you VERY soon in the new cupboard!! And for people who read this, please do not hesitate to get in touch by clicking here!