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Fashion (MA)

Xiaofan Cao

Xiaofan Cao is a fashion designer, future thinker and medical researcher, who obsesses with prolonging human lifespan and biomedical science. With a background of fashion and textile design in University of Southampton, he establishes a hypothesis of future fashion and human lifecycle by way of his biological and digital fantasy. At the Royal College of Art, Xiaofan’ s main focus on an association of both cancer therapy and advanced human longevity enables him to build up a digital performance and microworld womenswear collection. In his digital world, he is developing a real-time animation of the possibilities in micro world comprising human, fluid metal, particle system and metallic histocyte in Blender. As a fashion designer and a future thinker, maybe fashion has a lifetime like humankind, or maybe it never goes to the end. 

Degree Details

School of DesignFashion (MA)DigitalRCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Battersea, Studio Building, Ground and First floors

A fantasy of macroorganism world under your skin.

Her steps are getting faster, then suddenly stop, as something is blocked on the way.

Head turns to right and then back to front. It seems like she is searching for something.

Taking a few steps backwards. Gently, slowly, her hand raises across over the head, body is now getting twisted, twisted, twisted.’ ---‘HUMAN LONGEVITY’ CHAPTER 5

Imaging if we separate our fresh blood and cells at young age, raise them, feed them, and deliver them back when we get old. Is it possible to keep youth?

What if this immortal being invades into reality, it provides human a new form of life, or it brings irreversible biological extermination?

According to a cancer therapy, Xiaofan Cao translates his fantasy, his imagination into a script under the frame ‘I-WE-IT’.I’ means individuality, physical body, skin, language. As a result, Xiaofan and his cooperator Nenghao He design three characters through replacing blood and eventually having mutations in gene, human hawk, human reptile and human snack. Xiaofan’ s performance is a poetic, beautiful metaphor to reflect how human gets mutation after replacing blood and cells.

As ‘WE’ and ‘IT’, they rely on each other, which means it will be a society, a symbiosis system. Xiaofan Cao plants fluidic metal under the skin to record how it provides dynamic stability to the microbiome and microorganism, a system supporting normal operation of body function. As opposed to what has been expected initially, it is growing in madness. Activated branches are covering veins, cells, dissociating upon the skin, which enable him to develop metallic world and particle animation.

Xiaofan is navigating between an obsession of prolonging longevity and micro symbiosis world, it is a challenge to the possibility that explore human life and science. 

Digital performance in microcosm
Including performance movements and script.
Performance script and storyboard
Including AI motion capture and 3 characters
Motion capture and characters
Microbial world including veins and cells
Microbial world
3 characters: human reptile, human hawk, human snake.
Human reptile, human hawk, human snake
Fallen:Being Digital
Visiting VR world, including performers, words, screens and scenes.
Visiting VR world, including performers, words, screens and scenes.


Human Longevity Seeding the metal under your skin..... It is growing, covering....
Animated particle
Particle system testingSimluating how particles overgrow on the body.
Particles solidfy into metal.
WHAT IF particles solidfy into metal?
Metal veins and cells
Metal covers human' s veins and cells
Metal microbiome
Microcosm in digital
Microcosm & Symbiosis scenes
Microcosm in digital
Microcosm lineup 1&2
Character 1&2
Microcosm lineup 1&2
Microcosm lineup 3&4
Character 3&4
Microcosm lineup 3&4
Microcosm lineup 5
Character 5
Prototype of fluidic metal
Prototype of fluidic metalAccording to the therapy of healing cancer, I consider the possibilities of I, body, skin, language, which could be the integral and potential material with metal, plastic, liquid, even blood. Based on the water drawing theory, I plant wax in the water.
Mask & underwear made in wax
Mask & underwear made in wax
Particle simulation of microbiome
Particle simulation of microbiome
Particle simulation of microbiome
Turbulance guides particles growing branches on a arm
Turbulance guides particles growing branches on a arm