Ruyun Xiao is an artist, writer, researcher, exhibition designer, and illustrator from China. She explores the concept of bodily knowledge through performative form. Her imaginative process embodies herself in first-person memories, stories, and myths. She produces frameworks, and instruments to choreograph experiences of the unknown. Using writing as the foundation, she engages with performance, design, publication, and sound to communicate sensorium ways of knowing and unknowing.

Xiao is currently based in London, United Kingdom. She recently graduated from the Critical Curatorial Cybernetics research master pragram at Haute école d’art et de design(HEAD), Geneva, Switzerland. She also works virtually as a 2D designer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates in New York City. She received an MFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in 2018, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Arts in 2016, and a BA in Advertising from the Beijing University of Technology in 2015.

performances, exhibitions
Writing, Publishing

Becoming Myth

Performance, sound design, set design

“This is a different (宇宙)Yuzhou, a different cosmos, than the one you know. In this world, there was no gravity, but unknown forces. Lights show up and disappear. We are all in the same field and affected by each body, by the light and by sound. We created instruments to hear the unknown noises, to make sounds cover the noise, and to communicate with mysterious entities. Why am I here?”

Becoming Myth is a story written by Ruyun Xiao, which is about a floating ghost who carries generations of memories and sensations into a new world. The performance is set in this unknown world that has been conceptualized by Xiao’s research of quantum physics and Chinese Daoist thinking through her writing. Xiao creates a fictional story that explores human bodily knowledge and spiritual way of knowing. The performative body and sound communicate the effects in this world and create new sensations in the human body.

The instrument is made by Xiao with a piezo microphone that is encapsulated in plaster. It is both a drawing tool and an instrument of sound. The performance has four parts that will introduce the audience to this new cosmos both physically and sensationally. The four parts are cosmos, force, field, and void. Soundscape plays throughout the performance with live sound made with the instruments. Drawing continues to evolve with the changing force in the world. Xiao uses her body as the measurement of the space creating a series of complex drawing and movement in the meantime sound resonance between the bodies inform the relation between her and the world.

The film version can be seen here.
©Claudia Ndebele

©Claudia Ndebele

©Claudia Ndebele

©Claudia Ndebele

The performance also has been adapted into different versions...
©Act SIERRE 2023

©Act BERN 2023