Hongjie Yang's Vases Are Made From Human Tissue
Text description provided by designer Hongjie Yang: Semi-Human Delft Blue comprises three lab-made vases. Each vase is a 3D-printed biodegradable polymer scaffold that has been partially induced into human tissue (made from HeLa cells) and later chemically fixed and stained blue with Coomassie protein dye to create the traditional ‘Delft blue’ appearance. The result is intended to evoke an experience of the sublime — both the awe and the antipathy — that arises when we encounter ‘ourselves’, but in a wholly different format.
By mediating cultural nostalgia with technological possibility, Yang continues to ascend towards a new notion of craft customisation where we can create objects genetically identical to the owner. Choosing a historically laden form such as Delft blue to contrast against the technological advancement, this work is transformed into a ‘romantic suggestion’, where the forms’ complexity and colour realign our associations with the objects from initial repulsion to valued opulence. Semi-Human Delft Blue is the result of Yang’s continuing collaboration with Biomedical Engineering professor Dr Patricia Dankers and her PhD candidate Dan Jing Wu at Technology University Eindhoven.