The Japanese artists and partners Ryuta Iida and Yoshihisa Tanaka are known as NERHOL. Interviewed by Rebecca Fulleylove in the online magazine It’s Nice That, they explain the name:
We met at one of Iida’s exhibition and realised we had so much in common in regards to experience, design and taste. Gradually, we began working together. Our very first piece, Oratorical Type, used books as the theme, after sculpting them by carefully carving out certain sections of each page, it resulted in interesting dimensions. At that time, we still hadn’t decided on our name but soon came up with “NERHOL”, a mash-up of two words, “neru” to plan ideas and “holu” to sculpt and carve.
“To plan ideas” and “to sculpt and carve” those ideas in air, time, stone, wood or paper is that not a poem, a book, a building, a city — the work of art? That these two artists chose the letters of the alphabet as their first work together, that the alphabet and each of its letters came into being by collective human art and craft marking our passage from orality to literacy and that the alphabet, type and book are tools by which we have strived to evolve — how could they not be named Nerhol and their first work of art not be called Oratorical Type?