Futuristic Toy

Lana J. Yuan

Installation view, Lana J. Yuan
Balance, 25.25 by 25.25 by 17, fabricated aluminum couplings, wire and motors, coated plywood. 
Balance, 25.25 by 25.25 by 17, fabricated aluminum couplings, wire and motors, coated plywood. 

“The kinetic sculpture Balance renders the contrast and tension between silence and violence, manipulated movement, and free flow created by a motorized system. As the motors are running, the cams are rotating in clockwise or anticlockwise direction to drive the board moving up and down. The status of the balls – knocking, separating and resting – are exaggerated and metaphorically indicate the interaction between individuals components that happens during the process of balancing the consciousness and sub-consciousness in a highly mechanized and industrialized system.”

Assembly Line, collected receipts, plywood and motor

“Numbers of unwanted receipts gathered from people are made into a 200 inches long loop that rotates on a built mechanical structure that imitates the movement of an assembly line.”

Jiaqi Yuan is a third-year Chinese international student of UTSC specializing
Studio Art. Through her art practice, she primarily focuses on making
conceptual installations. Exploring the social issues in
highly industrialized and mechanized society, her sculptures incorporate
mechanical devices and industrial objects. Recently, she held her solo show
“System” in Gallery 1265 on UTSC campus. Her work “Futuristic Toy”
was selected to be part of the Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition
(SPSAE), from April 17-May 18, 2019 in The Art Museum at the University of
Toronto. The exhibition considered themes of surveillance, cultural
construction, and fantasy. Due to the rethinking of conceptual and material
boundaries through risk-taking and playfulness of form, Jiaqi Yuan’s
Futuristic Toy was nominated to be one of the winners of 2019 Juror Prize.

Futuristic Toy, 11.5 inches by 3 inches by 13 inches, fabricated aluminum, plywood, found rattle drum, bronze, motor
Futuristic Toy, 11.5 inches by 3 inches by 13 inches, fabricated aluminum, plywood, found rattle drum, bronze, motor

“The work demonstrates the idea of “dehumanized parenting” due to the current highly mechanized and industrialized society. In the Futuristic Toy, Lana utilizes mechanical linkages and a found handmade rattle drum in traditional form to build a mechanized circular reciprocating motion device. Rattle drum is an old folk instrument and toy that appeared in the Warring States Period of China. The original rattle requires manual operation. However, in this sculpture, the manpower operation element has been removed from the toy. The rattle drum is altered into an electric, motor-driven machine to critically reflect the current phenomenon that media and technology have become a necessary part of parenting in the increasingly automated world.”

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