In the realm of contemporary art, creators are constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional concepts, challenging societal norms, and fostering conversations on pressing issues. Xinyi Shao, a visionary designer known for her thought-provoking work, has embarked on a transformative journey with her project “Non-Binary Nature.”
The term “queer ecology” refers to a loose, interdisciplinary constellation of practices that aim, in different ways, to disrupt prevailing heterosexist notions and institutional articulations of sexuality and nature. It investigates the parallel between women and nature, and questions why nature is gendered and historically associated with the character of a mother. Furthermore, it explores the reasons why both women and nature are often placed below men and culture in society.
“Non-Binary Nature” was a winner of TDC Awards and DNA Paris Awards. It is an ambitious and thought-provoking project that redefines the way we perceive gender and identity. Xinyi Shao’s art takes us beyond the binary constraints of male and female, urging us to examine the intricacies of the human spirit that transcend societal norms.
Xinyi Shao’s artistic prowess is exemplified by her ability to navigate diverse mediums, ranging from book design and posters to multimedia installations. Through a dynamic combination of visual elements, she weaves intricate narratives that mirror the complexity of gender identity. The project’s versatility allows audiences to engage with the art on multiple levels, encouraging a deeper connection and fostering a greater appreciation for the human experience in all its forms.
The color palette plays a significant role in unifying all aspects and applications of the project. The primary colors of the book are green and reddish-brown, which represent the nature and academic tone of the topic. The color palette was expanded to differentiate each chapter of the book and add a sense of freshness. The book titled X by Y is a collection of diverse materials that explores queer ecology from multiple angles, including ecofeminism, queer archaeology, biopolitics, psychology, and biotechnology. Various visual elements were created to accompany the dense academic content.
A symposium named Non-Binary Nature was also designed to offer various perspectives to examine and analyze the topic, and aims to add new thoughts to the subject. The structural monogram conveys the seriousness and openness of the topic and symposium. The colors were chosen from the palette, with the vibrant colors representing the radical and pioneering nature of the event. The shifting and changing graphic elements convey the fluidity of the subject and inspire people to consider possibilities beyond strict binary categorizations.
The installation was set up at the location of the symposium. Two large panels were placed at obtuse angles, representing two opposites. The graphic element was also incorporated into the installation. Viewers can interact with the bar to reveal key contents from the book. Shao’s art provides a space for reflection and understanding, serving as a catalyst for meaningful conversations that pave the way for a more accepting and compassionate society.
“Non-Binary Nature” explores not only gender and sexuality, but also challenges traditional assumptions about what is considered normal or superior. This project is not only a reflection of the fluidity of identity, but also a celebration of the diverse tapestry of human existence.
Xinyi Shao’s project, “Non-Binary Nature,” emerges as a beacon of light in the contemporary art world, challenging norms and encouraging us to view gender and identity through a more compassionate and inclusive lens. By pushing the boundaries of art and societal conventions, Shao’s work stands as a testament to the transformative power of creativity, inviting us all to embark on a journey of self-discovery and understanding.