Xiya Zhang’s jewellery collection explores the long-term effects of artificial organisms through speculative design objects: mutated sea creatures.
Since the birth of science, humans have never given up on the dream of being a creator. The way we manipulate DNA appears to be evolving more radically. American biologist Craig Ventor announced in 2010 that he had created the world’s first synthetic life form. It was a turning point in the relationship between man and nature. New life can be created in the laboratory, not through evolution. The ability to create organisms gives people new powers to master life. This power is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the technology is critical for creating low-cost, environmentally sustainable industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biofuels and crops. On the other hand, if artificial organisms spread into nature and cause biological and genetic changes, they may cause environmental disasters and be used to make biological weapons.
In Zhang’s imagined future, ecosystems have been severely damaged. Marine life has a significant crisis. Humans have decided to research and develop new species, genetic modification, and recombination. They have extracted the genes of a series of marine organisms to create organic life that can adapt to the new environment.