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Experimental Communication

Ping Mu

Ping Mu (China, 1994) is a new media artist and graphic designer, currently working and living in Shanghai.


2013-2017, Packaging and Communication Design, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, BA

2018-2020, Experimental Communication, Royal College of Art, MA


2020 New Genres Performance Lecture: X+Y=Z, The Rotunda, London

2020 RCA Work in Progress: The Studio, Unit 5 Mediaworks, London

2019 Design Without: Command Control Communicate, Walmer Yard, London

2017 Graduate Design Exhibition ‘Tale of searching for the root’, Xintiandi, Shanghai

2017 ‘LUXE PACK SHANGHAI’ Luxury Packaging Exhibition, Exhibition Center, Shanghai

2016 Romania International Design Week, Romania

2016 ‘The Tale of Two Cities’Design Exhibition, Shanghai & London

2016 ‘Tradition in Globalization’ Design Exhibition, Vienna

2015 ‘In Mirror’ Chinese Packaging Design Exhibition, Klingspor Museum, German

2015 ‘Mind Matrix’ Design Exhibition, SIVA, Shanghai

Recipient of The Chris Garnham Prize


Degree Details

School of Communication

Experimental Communication

I am a new media artist and graphic designer, currently working and living in Shanghai. My art practice is broadly connected to the information era and the online space I live within. I am interested in exploring a sense of transition in time scale and the invasion of technology into life and it impacts our social systems, production structures, emotional relationships and ethics. I hope to critique our social realities by combining satire, dark humour and speculative fantasy, encouraging the audience to question the existing structures of the world.

C.301 Cyberspace Odyssey

C 301 Cyberspace Odyssey

C 301


This work based on my experiences in the current global pandemic. It explores the psychological space and the tensions that exist between an atomized society and tribal social instincts. The pandemic can be regarded as a metaphor for the accelerating modernity and a feedback of the natural defense mechanism caused by anthropocentrism. Isolation at home has magnified our desire for nature and our animality. It provides us with a new perspective to look back at our primitive body, desires, subconscious and physiological mechanisms.

Our modern apartments with glowing screens, LED lights, electromagnetic noise and constant flow of information have replaced nature. I try to achieve a certain degree of cognitive alienation through the virtual reconstruction of modern people's living state. I 3D scanned my apartment and rebuilt a virtual version of my habitat. I used two-dimensional lines to describe this second nature, stripping all weight, texture, colour and perception to represent that our life and emotions are engulfed by these two-dimensional simulacra. I then projected my behaviour onto an ape. She wanders in a mixed space of reality, dreams and cyberspace. She is sometimes anxious, sometimes lonely, sometimes angry, like a trapped animal under house arrest in a modern prison.




3D ScanAnimationDigitalIsolationMotion CapturePandemic
Digital Labour-Human Playing

Entertainment Factory

Human Playing

This work used video games as a medium to discuss the isomorphism of physical labor in the industrial era and digital labor in this information era. It attempts to place data capitalism into the framework of alienation and critical theory of the Frankfurt School. The Internet can be regarded as a large entertainment factory, but where as a traditional factory turns people into tools, the Internet turns people into data. The data we generate from each click becomes an intangible asset of data capitalism. This is capital exploitation in the information era.

Human Playing links to players’ social media accounts and generates virtual products from images they have uploaded. The sound design refers to Henry Lefebvre's rhythm analysis theory, using sound samples recorded in a factory to represent an invasion of modernity rhythm. Players need to click with the rhythm to imitate the power relationship between assembly lines and workers. This labour to produce these virtual products eventually generates a data creature—Human Playing. We are producing and quantifying ourselves.





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