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Experimental Design

(Ming)Yiming Yang

Yiming Yang is an experimental artist. 

She’s currently studying at the Royal College of Art and in 2020 she will earn an MA in Information Experience Design. 

Her recent work titled Barbie Nonsense Instrument, a self-sustained, unpredictable, interactive musical instrument was featured at Apple Store Regent Street. 

She has also presented her work in Tate Modern, Microsoft and Ircam Centre Pompidou.

l East China Normal University, 2013 - 2017

BA (Hons) Fine Art

l Central Saint Martins, 2016 -2016

BA (Hons) Fine Art (study abroad)

l Camberwell College of Arts, 2016 - 2018

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

l Royal College of Art, 2018- 2020

MA Information Experience Design


Yiming Yang's website

Web Interactive Game of Splice

Yiming Yang's Instagram Link

Splice's Video clip of VR 360-degree Experience

Shopify Link

Degree Details

School of Communication

Experimental Design

l Me using the Splice AR filter I designed; Try it:

Yiming’s work pushes forward the horizons of today’s post Anthropocene visions, where utopia and dystopia clash in uncertainty. The flow of information from the inner, unexplorable, states of mind collides with that of body perceptions, giving shape to often absurd ideologies that precariously balance on the brink of the eternal life/death dualism.

Yiming’s personal feelings grow in this realm of absurdity and find a physical shape in her work made of different media and creative techniques — to ultimately discuss the relationship between virtuality and reality.

Yiming's interest lies in the relationship between apparently incompatible media and different materials. 

She follows her curiosity and adopts an investigative approach across her projects. 

Her projects are reactions to a generic, topical trend towards exploring posthumanism.
She considers it vital to engage with the public in a physically enclosed space, to be able to identify, understand, and challenge people’s responses to her works. 
Doing so will also enable her to perfect and build on her work moving forwards.

Extending her experiments into live installations, she wants to present the possibilities of post-human scenarios. 

She aims at triggering her audience’s feelings, and make them think about self-consciousness, how this world functions, and make them curious about the future world. 

l 2016.06 Entitled LET THE WIND FLY, Central Saint Martins, London

l 2017.02 Entitled LSD, Tate Modern, London

l 2017.02 Entitled ARTISANS & FACTORIES, Camberwell College of Arts, London

l 2017.03 Entitled I WAS 50$, Shortwave Cinema, London 

l 2017.06 Entitled Ginkgo Leaf, Yun. Contemporary Arts Center, Shanghai 

l 2017.06 Entitled The Curtain Call, Yun. Contemporary Arts Center, Shanghai 

l 2019. 03 Entitled Intra-action, Crypt Gallery, London

l 2019.05 Entitled AI Receptionist, Microsoft, Cambridge

l 2019. 06 Entitled Remains, Balancing, shanghai

l 2019. 10 Entitled Rainbow, Power Station of Art, Shanghai

l 2019. 11 Entitled Cyborg Doll, HQI, London

l 2020. 01 Entitled Barbie Nonsense Instrument, Apple Store Regent Street, London

l 2020. 02 Entitled Splice, Royal College of Art, London

l 2020. 03 Entitled Barbie Nonsense Instrument, Ircam Centre Pompidou, Paris

Close detail of the Splice model, showing faces

Splice 3D Model with main components explained — Function detail

Video of Splice interaction — This is the first 3d model I made in order to get the fiction.
Interactive 3d model of Splice
The process of mRNA splicing pertains to manually cutting and pasting pieces of our cells’ information transmission codes. Spiders perceive sound through their legs. This project enquired as to what would occur if we built on human perception via technology, incorporating a human within a synthetic creature.

Splice enmeshes a human organism with a robotic body, thereby generating a cyborg, without interfering with genetics.

What is a biological body?

The point at which a human and a robot are infused into a coherent and indistinguishable entity – a cyborg – may comprise the last stage of evolutionary development. The realisation of such an entity as an evolutionary conclusion may produce emancipation from a range of social inequities, countering gender, race, and sexual inequality and coming to achieve Haraway’s notion.

This installation challenges common notions of the interlinks between and among human nature, the natural world, and technology. It also explores the ways that these interlinks impact on our subjectivity and our psyche. It creates a post-human, cyborg-driven scenario set in a transcendent, non-specific time in the future, in which we will be able to select our own organic bodies thanks to technological innovation.


3d software
3DARBiodesignCGICOVID-19DesignDigital ArtInteractiveMoving imagePerformancePost-HumanVideo

View of the entire installation space — In Order to experiment with the physical version of Splice, I am using this Work in Progress show in RCA as a chance to test different materials and feasible technology. This WIP show documentation will also lead you for prior research, test installation, atmosphere and style.

Soft Robotic component made of an air blower and a slime filled bag that inflates rhythmically

Splice Work in Progress Show — Live experience video

3d Printed small scale model installation with video showing the complete model interaction

1/3 fully functional motorized leg structure

Tentacle Background Video Installation

Splice's embryo

Model of Splice's water cycle functioning

A viewer immersed in the VR experience

View of the entire installation space

The premise of the present study is that spiders detect sound via their legs. Added to this was the speculative enquiry as to what would occur when human sensory systems are built and improved on by deploying various contemporary technologies.

Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto puts forth the concept of the cyborg as a means of overcoming unequal gender power relations. This study has used the concept of the cyborg as a gender equality tool in developing a human/machine hybridised organism.

Our growing sense of tension and discomfort with nascent technologies and their power to disarm us is amply reflected in the contemporaneous popularity of post-human culture and theory.


acrylic, tube, water, metal, sensors, Arduino, AR, VR


3*3*4m (Dimensions Variable)

In Collaboration with:

Sound collaboration with composer and sound designer Menex
Voice Samples from Fabio Fidanza
Launch Project

Experience the Splice in Virtual Reality — You can experience the Splice in a VR environment. You can switch your point of view between first-person, seeing what the Splice sees, and third-person, seeing yourself from an external position. Click Launch Project on the image to access the VR experience.

Splice's Video clip of VR 360-degree Experience — In this video, a sample performance is represented — as it would have been done in a physical environment, with the Splice interacting with viewers in real-time.
For this Virtual Show, I delivered the inner part of the Splice, which would be a VR experience to be consumed inside the installation, as a web VR environment.

A user will embody the Splice I created and interact with the whole space in VR.


Unity Engine

In Collaboration with:

Sound collaboration with composer and sound designer Menex
Video of the water cycle part being built

Actual Splice's robotic leg during construction

When a physical installation will be possible, the piece will be structured as follows.

The Splice is composed of an interactive unity-based Virtual Reality and sonic environment plus audience-controlled interactive robotics, with a performer leading the experience.

How does it work?

The installation is comprised of two major components.

A robotic, arachnid-shaped human comprises the outer component.

As per Lacan’s notion of ‘the mirror stage’, whereby a conscious subject becomes aware of the threshold of self-consciousness by becoming conscious of its mirrored image, the Splice’s legs will interactively mirror the spectators’ movements.

For the inner component, prior to entering the VR, every spectator will be asked to record a brief sound expression. These recordings are thereafter transferred to a 16-channel speaker system and the sounds will be interconnected with their motion and with the objects in the 3D environment. When wearing VR, they will be a Splice itself (first-person angle) to experience Splice’s world.

The impact of this is one of disorientation insofar as it conveys an experience of notably neutral observation mixed with one of proactive participation.

A 3D creature is unveiled by wearing the VR headset, with the audience embodying the Splice and the creature prompting an experience of self-reflection.

To enhance the sense of physical, multi-sensory interaction, and to replicate the human impact in the VR, air is blown at visitors in congruence with the movements.

(The performer will first lead to show how to use the VR part.)


acrylic, tube, water, metal, sensor, circuit board



Barbie Family — The modification of the Barbie into a sonic cybertoy gives her a new play purpose for adults and kids alike. The otherwise lifeless Barbie gains a soul that is expressed through interactive sonic experimentation. This way, it is easier for the person that is playing to get attracted and attached to her. Her hacked body, with its prosthetic parts and bionic organs, adds to this unique play experience while hinting at the future of posthumanity.

Barbie Instrument Original Sound

Hello! Barbie

Today at Apple Event at Regent Street Apple Store — Sound collaboration with composer and sound designer Menex Click Launch Project on the image to access the Today at Apple Event

Barbie in Transition

Barbie is in surgery

It is a self-sustained, unpredictable, interactive musical instrument.

It is ambivalent, speculative, silly and unconventional.

Barbie, a recurring figure of our times, the undisputed model of non-real female plastic bodies, becomes an instrument — and she reacts to her body being rearranged in different postures.

It’s a cultural challenge for the user — because this installation is not for passive viewers but for active users — who can’t help but move Barbie’s body parts and generate different sounds.

This is an intentional non-sense design, seeking to generate a familiar and sought-after sense of pure joyfulness, fun, and non-mediated humor.

I pose questions but don’t aim at providing an answer.

Each user will leave with their personal answers and a memory that will stand out against all the inevitable previous interactions with the otherwise dead Barbie.

The bleeps and pulses that Barbie emits are certainly producing a disorienting clash with the crystallized model of a sensual voice that any good looking woman must have according to a still profoundly non-feminist culture.


Barbie doll, electronic components


15*15*15cm, 20*4*3cm
25 July 2020
17:30 (GMT + 0)

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