Yuxuan Gong, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, has crafted a creative journey rooted in personal emotions and feelings, which are artfully translated into abstract drawings. These drawings become the basis for fashion collections and installation art pieces, showcasing the profound impact of emotions on artistic expression.
Within this emotionally charged artistic realm, Yuxuan Gong delves into the intricate relationship between reality and virtuality. In a recent project, the focus is on unraveling how the connection between humans and virtual pets mirrors the shifting dynamics of communication, relationships, and consumption in our postmodern society, where objects are disposable, and connections are fleeting.
Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” provides an illuminating backdrop for this exploration. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the ownership of real animals as pets became a status symbol and a costly luxury due to the scarcity of living creatures. Consequently, people turned to lifelike robotic imitations of animals, treating them as genuine companions.
In today’s postmodern society, the relationship between humans and the physical world has become increasingly estranged. Humans navigate a digital landscape with divided minds, where the boundaries between reality and the virtual world blur. It is within this context that virtual pets come into play. These digital companions may appear realistic, but at their core, they are programs and algorithms. Despite their artificial nature, they evoke genuine emotions and empathy, offering a sense of companionship in an otherwise disconnected world.
Yuxuan Gong’s digital fashion collection seeks to depict a community ensnared by a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, manipulated by the omnipresent forces of artificial intelligence. While technological advancements have brought people closer, paradoxically, they’ve left individuals feeling lonelier and more vulnerable than ever. As society embraces the convenience of virtual relationships and experiences, there’s a risk of losing the grip on the tangible world and real human connections.
The work invites viewers to contemplate the implications of this growing disconnect in the postmodern society. Are we on the cusp of a future where virtual companionship supplants genuine human interactions? Will our reliance on digital simulations redefine our emotional landscapes? These are questions raised by the art, aiming to inspire discourse and introspection.
Yuxuan Gong website: https://yuxuangong.me