Hongjie Yang


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Sculpture 14 / Installation 3


Synthesis Monolith 9 / Radical Fossils 3 / Metallic Transformation 2 / Semi-human Vase 2Metaevolution 1 /

This project explores design potentials of human tissue engineering, presenting human cells growing on a three-dimensional, vase-shaped scaffold. Treating human cells as material in this way, to propagate into a designed form, represents a new, if unsettling, frontier. Yang is intrigued by the notion that we are able to derive objects from the self, however fragile and laborious in their making. This may signal a new branch of portraiture or an emerging form of craft customisation. Such an object will share the genetic information of a person, and might be thought of as a budded, asexually produced offspring.

Mr. Yang foresees an end to socially coded distinctions between human and object in the wake of this new class of designed, semi-human beings. These creations represent a “new vision of the sublime” as the designer sees it, one that blends awe and excitement with a distinct feeling of dread, or fear arising from the uncanny connection between self and object. Projects of such experimental character are often signposts for the future, just as bauhaus designers like Marianne Brandt laboriously hammered her tea infusers to shape in 1924, imagining a future of more automated, machine production.

In collaboration with Dr. Patricia Dankers, Tu/eindhoven.
Text by William Myers

Semi-human Vase I, 2015,
MK2 Cells on PLA based Scaffold, 55 x 40 x 20 cm
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