Millions of people across the globe face different situations that push them over the brinks, from failure to break up or even death. The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly heartbreaking. However, the deaths of organisms and nonliving things seem not to get the kind of attention deserved.
“Humans are apathetic, and death is all about numbers. Humans don’t cope with grief and loss for a bug’s death, which is negligible. A dead butterfly or beetle doesn’t matter to us, and we mix up with each death. A death besides humans is worthless, suggesting a date and location can’t even bring value to it,” says Xiaoyu. Followed by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rise in death rate, the artist created the Death of Any Sort project, an online graveyard for non-human dead beings. Death of Any Sort is a very special project for the artist as she hopes it will be a long-term or lifelong initiative. Instead of finding and bringing value to an ignored group’s death, she hopes the meaning of its death can be visible to an observer (human), maybe in an irritating way. “Alongside an increasing amount of time and mortality, will human beings regard an insect’s death as a significant one from different angles? Will those life forms’ lives be cherished by us?” Xiaoyu asked.
Autonomous Objects is another project from the artist that features the relationship between humans and non-living things. Collaborating with her classmate, Weilin, they reimagined the messages behind everyday objects. “We assume those objects have their self-consciousness, opinion, and emotion even though they are made for certain reasons/functions. If any item steps out of its role, it can make its own decision and feels an emotion -just like a human” – Xiaoyu.
Autonomous Objects enabled lifeless things to communicate and negotiate with the owner in their preferable manner. This project encourages people to rethink their relationship with daily objects through a fun and playful interaction.
The death of a person is meaningful, and so is an organism or lifeless item. Xiaoyu looks forward to continuously evoking the significance of death and lives in the ignored groups by her efforts and projects.
For more information about the artist and her projects, visit xyuliu.com.