Xiaoyu Nie, briefly called XY, is a China-born artist creating popular artworks, deeply inspired by artificial intelligence. After graduating from Coventry University, XY focus on a contemporary “post-cyberpunk”, a term she invented by herself. XY shows the core value of the work and she is proud of the combination of cyberpunk worldview and street culture.
“Street culture and cyberpunk share a sharp and pungy aesthetics, meanwhile, I want to appreciate the incomparable potential in practicality,” XY says.
What we know about cyberpunk consists of dark, damp streets, the shadowy skyscrapers and neon lights, the society controlled by monopolized corporations, or the mechanical prosthetics and electronic brains, the dreamy and illusional atmosphere. However, these are sketchy recognition of cyberpunk, and Artificial Intelligence is the core.
In the future, all human body organs will be replaced by biochemical electronic prostheses, and even the brain will be transformed into a cyber brain that can be networked.
However, with careful observation, we came to realize the future is already here. Head-worn ultrasonic hearing aid, multi-threaded information interaction carrier …… at this moment artificial intelligence is a fact without any question.
Cryptoart.AI is glad to have XY in the conversation to discuss her inspirations with cyberpunk and NFT. XY has been keen on vintage popular culture and cyberpunk, which made her post-cyberpunk style so distinguishable.
Cryptoart.AI: We noticed that you have collaborations with different brands, can you explain how you balance art creation and commercialization? What is your attitude towards your work in business collaboration?
XY: Creation must be platonic. There is no standard for beauty. We can’t define beauty, just like we can’t define the wind.
Sharing and exchanging value have existed since the beginning of human existence. There is no need to label it as good or bad. The key is a mutual-beneficial situation, the way artists collaborate with brands, which costs time to figure out. In the best situation, the brand awareness of the brand can be highlighted, in a way that artists do not lose the essence of their work.
My art creates an atmosphere for viewers and brands to recognize my beliefs, which leads to natural collaborations.
Business is not just about people, it includes marketing, finance, communication, etc. In my world, there is no good or bad in these efforts, in short, embrace them.
Cryptoart.AI: Which artist influenced you the most? Why?
XY: Without a doubt, Ed Roth.
In the 1950s, Ed Roth, nicknamed “Big Daddy”, revolutionized the field of automobile design solely by himself. His series of monster graffiti creations included my favorite character Rat Fink. As an icon of anti-consumerism and mainstream aesthetics at the time, Rat Fink, surprisingly, has been the most successful commercialized character of the time. In its 53-year history of commercial activity, brands are shown incompetent confidence in the character and commercial value of Rag Fink.
As for what I like about Rat Fink, it can continue its evergreen presence in the commercial field without compromising itself. That’s because its unyielding nature resonates with human nature. Who doesn’t want to live like Rat Fink, at least for a while?
Cryptoart.AI: I’ve seen a lot of your works with animation images and historical science fiction elements, would you talk about how they relate to your creations?
XY: My world is a place full of fantasies, where dreams are born and imagined. Cartoons and cyberpunk do not conflict, as we are compounds of innocence and indifference, contradiction and logic. Reconstructing classic images is a way to better express my opinions.
Cryptoart.AI: We noticed that your work differs from the 3D renderings commonly used by other NFT artists. Instead, 2D, retro, printmaking, tattoo, and cyberpunk elements are prevalent in your work, do you think they are the signatures that distinguish you from the other artists in the NFT market?
XY: Every artist creates different work, for everyone is different. That’s why it is important to have a unique artistic worldview. I love the inspirations from the American street culture from the ’80s, cyberpunk, collage, and tattoos. I have combined American graffiti with Chinese woodcut printmaking techniques to form my own style. To keep a coherent style, I use the iPad and digital tablet for my creation.
Cryptoart.AI: As an artist active in Little Red Book (a social media platform focused on female life ), what do you think is the difference between support from we-media and the NFT platform?
XY: NFT is more like an unprecedented recognition of digital art. 3D digital sculpture, animation, and other digital creative forms are distinct from traditional media. They are the historical monuments in the NFT world. Little Red Book is more of a community-based sharing that does not include selling art. But both NFT and Little Red Book seem like exhibitions in the digital world, they are all in the forms of listing art.
Cryptoart.AI: As a multi-category artist, what experiences did you have before you started your NFT journey, and what role did they play in your career as an artist?
XY: I majored in animation but obsessed with art-making, this was the beginning of the “tragedy”. I was like a psycho who let my mind wander, I started making oil paintings and collages, then fell in love with digital media. For the past four years, I couldn’t live without painting every day. In this confusing period, my works were collected by the British Motor Museum, I had a solo exhibition in Singapore, participated in several group exhibitions, and started my art career in China. Now I am known as an artist making popular art. Those experiences have told me that I had to make art when I’m alive.
Cryptoart.AI: Tell us about your expectations for the NFT journey of future works.
XY: I look forward to seeing the meta-universe actually exist in my world, where I can have a close embrace with a stranger on the other side of the earth.