Shinji Toya is a London-based multi-media artist born in 1984 in Japan. In 2013 when Toya had graduated his MA, he was awarded the Contagious Nova Award in Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series. He is currently a Visiting Practitioner for MA Art and Science course at Central Saint Martins College of Art

Toya’s practice is predominantly digital in the process and involves a range of diverse disciplines such as video, computer programming, Internet, installation, and collage. Often these approaches are employed to convey the narrative, generative art, or participatory practice that alludes to the ephemerality or precariousness found in digital technology and culture. These qualities, on one hand, relates to the Japanese aesthetics of transiency and imperfection (a form of Wabi Sabi), deriving from his cultural background. On the other hand, the idea of precariousness relates to his interest in limits (e.g. of knowing, category, identity, systems, or lifetime) and exploration of what is beyond such limits.

Between 2015-2017 Toya has been working on projects with the arebyte Gallery that critically approaches digital memory, such as the issues concerning the digital forgetting, immortality of digital memory and information overload.

Recently, he has been researching AI technologies. For Art + Tech residency at SPACE, he collaboratively worked on a practice that critically explored the visual indications of limits of racial categorisation found in a commercial facial recognition software (Betaface). This limitation pointed to the inability of (current) Machine Learning systems to capture human nuances.

In a broader perspective, Toya’s practice is concerned with how digital technology becomes a catalyst for new cultural conditions that may need to be questioned




Exhibitions / Events / Commissions

4-12 April 2019
Focus – Next: Showcase: SPACE Art + Tech, at SPACE, London

September – December 2018
Art + Technology residency, Focus-Next: Future Human, at SPACE, London

12-25 November 2018
Please, Express Yourself curated by Filippo Lorenzin, at GreebCube Gallery (online) and a museum in London
[Press: Paris College of Art]

20 November 2018
Cognitive Sensations, curated by Gabriella Warren-Smith, at TheCube, London

17 November 2018
Transient Hole X in association with Cybersalon/Middlesex University, at furtherfield, London.

6-10 September 2018
Hotel Generation – Ars Electronica curated by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte
at Ars Electronica 2018, Linz

Spring 2018
UGC Paris art commission

6 April – 11 May 2018
Machines Will Watch Us Die curated by Patrizia Costantin
at Holden Gallery, Manchester

15-22 April 2018
Infinite Multiple
at arebyte Gallery, London (Link)

February 2018 –
Online showcase at Collectionair curated by Martin Guinard-Terrin (Link)

December 2017 – January 2018
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale – Websiteseeing: The Ways of Going 404 , arebyte Gallery

30 September 2017
Art Licks Weekend 2017: Making + Re-Imagining on the Thames Beach by AltMFA

20 July – 20 September 2017
forgetting.online (Part2) at Arebyte Gallery / storage-un.it

6-7 May 2017
Unknown Futures: AltMFA residency and show at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects

2 November 2016 – 8 January 2017
Online Residency at Arebyte: forgetting.online (Part1)
at storage-un.it, Arebyte Gallery and Newhive.

24 November 2016
“I’m Alone but Not Lonely” – curated by eeodo.
Location: Waterstones, Tottenham Court Road, London.

25 July – 23 October 2016
at galleryELL website.

1 October 2016
State of Flux: AltMFA Live Art Thames Tour, Artlicks Weekend 2016

21 July 2016
Interfaces Monthly at Fish Island Labs (in association with Barbican and the Trampery)

2nd July 2016
Burlington Gardens Festival
Location: Royal Academy of Arts, London.

3rd-10th May 2016
AltMFA residency 
Location: Guest Projects, London

29th March 2016 – 11 June 2016
Storage Unit: 3 Years 6 Months of Digital Decay at arebyte Gallery / storage-un.it
The project has been launched on 7th April 2016, and this concided with First Thursday Late Opening in association with Whitechapel Gallery

20-22 May 2016
Internet Yami-Ichi London 2016
Location: Turbine Hall – Tate Modern, London

9th May 2016
Open studio by AltMFA
Location: Guest Projects, London

1 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
Dystrophies: The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale 
at the UK pavilion by arebyte Gallery, London

4 October 2015
Art Licks Weekend, Palindromic Sequence: A Live Map of the Thames Shore by Alt MFA

26 June – 30 August 2015
Poetry in Visual – ArtMap Project
Location: The City Museum of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

July 2015
Merz Barn
Location: Windermere, UK.

24 – 25 May 2015
Cut (A Drift) – a project by Clusterbomb
Location: Guest Projects, London, UK

April – May 2014
The Hot100
An online exhibition and charity auction by Paddle 8. Fundrasing for environmental and humanitarian charities supported by the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation. (web page)

28 October – 11 November 2013
Self-discipline and Speculation – Beijing New Media Arts Triennial 2013 
Location: Beijing Film Academy, Beijing China. (description)

5 September 2013
Exhibition by the shortlists of Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series.
Location: Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, London.

24- 29 May 2013
Central Saint Martins Show One
Location: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.

7 March 2013 – 10 March 2013
Location: Shoreditch, London

January – February 2013
Future Map 2012
The Future Map presents the artworks of the 50 selected artists from all students of University of the Arts London. 
Location: Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. (press release)

May 2012
Interim Show
Location: V22, London.

2nd March 2012
Art Auction 2012 in association with Sotheby’s
Location: Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.

February 2012
Concourse Gallery Show
Location: Byam Shaw School of Art, London.

June 2011
BA Degree Show, Central Saint Martins College of Art
Location: Charing Cross, London.

17 March 2011 – 03 April 2011
Things Happening
Location: Sassoon Gallery, London.

February 2010
Concourse Gallery Exhibition
Location: Byam Shaw School of Art, London.

4 June 2009
Trinity Buoy Wharf Show
Location: Trinity Buoy Wharf, London.

June 2009
Residency at Trinity Buoy Wharf
Location: London, UK



5 September 2013
Contagious Nova Award, in Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series, for the artwork Automatic Abstract Painter No.3.

Shinji Toya – Lowe Nova Awards 2013.


October 2013 – June 2014 (first year)
PhD in Digital Art, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.

September 2011 – June 2013
MA Fine Art, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.

September 2008 – July 2011
BA Fine Art with the First Class Honours, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.

Educational Work / Certificate / Talks

Spring 2019 | Visiting Practitioner, MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins College of Art

16 February 2019 | Virtually Malleable: Breaking Photorealism with Blender. Workshop run with Marc Blazel, arebyte Gallery.
16 February 2019 | Creative Programming with Artificial Life: Workshop, Watermans Art Centre
11 May 2018 | 
Machines Will Watch Us Die Symposium, Manchester School of Art
19 May 2017 | Un-conference – Digital Maker Collective, Tate Exchange
September 2015 – May 2016 | PGCert modules of Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication, University of the Arts London 
2015 | Interactive Workshop at Anti-University Now session by AltMFA, Anti-University Now,
2013 | Peer-led tutoring for MA Fine Art Students at Central Saint Martins College of Art.

Publications / Press

2018 | SPACE Art + Technology artists in residence – interview.
2018 | Paris College of Art, on Please, Express Yourself – Just Do It

2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die, Review by Abi Mitchell
2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die – Catalogue (edited by Patrizia Costantin)
2017 | Hotel Generation 2017 (edited by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte Gellery) – text contribution : The Critical Space Against The Information Overload And Acceleration
2016 | The London Reader – Autumn 2016 #Cyberpunk Now
The issue can be purchased at Amazon UK or Amazon US, featuring 3 Years and 6 Months of Digital Decay.
2016 | Immaterial Aesthetics – The Internet Yami-Ichi (Black Market) by Edward Paginton for Modern Weekly China.
2014 | Postmatter: Shaping the Digital
2013 | Contagious issue 36
Automatic Abstract Painter No.3 were featured, and the work’s images were used for the magazine cover.
2013 | Less Common
Featured the images of Automatic Abstract Painter No.3