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Digital Direction (MA)

Xinyun Ma

Xinyun Ma (b.2000) is a multi-disciplinary artist, model, designer, and poet. Much of Xinyun's work stems from research into nature and identity, or from related explorations in film, documentary, or literature, presenting critical thinking through moving images and poetry. She focuses on exploring the blurred boundaries and emotional connections of identity. She is able to tap into the primal instincts of human animality and nature to find ways of expressing herself. 

Degree Details

School of CommunicationDigital Direction (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Darwin Building, Lower-ground and Upper-ground floors

Screenshot of the film

「不甘心腐烂的海星 Unwilling rotten starfish」


Enduring, coral reefs trapped in cold saltwater


Survival shells sink as the earth's crust sinks


Worms resonate in the ancient skeleton


Screaming, tentacled cells searching for the sun


Skin gills breathe, waiting for the slit of gas


Air bubbles are cages of captivity


Losing control, hiding the body in a balloon


Chasing the tumbling seabed


Carnival, floating in the eddies of the tide


Wet dreams of gravel and stormy


Fancying the moonlight peering over the reef


Pain, thick flannel instead of wood


The mutilated limb is a new individual


Vain, climbing up the barnacles to feed


Embracing the inescapable shell


Skillfully spitting out its stomach


Silence, worms do not respond


The soul holds up the clay


The world falls gently into the mirror

With the influence of globalization, cultures with unique characteristics are rapidly disappearing. Undoubtedly, globalization has brought tremendous benefits. However, it has also led to the accelerated process of cultural assimilation, profoundly affecting the construction and shaping of individual identities among ethnic minorities. This phenomenon is not solely a result of government actions or power dynamics but is also influenced by individual choices during the assimilation process and its impact on territorial intimacy.

Based on research on the Aoluguya Ewenki ethnic group in China, the project will incorporate nomadic thinking within the resistance against contemporary social power and control structures. Through narrative monologues, sound, poetry, and moving images, the final output is an experimental film that explores how ethnic minorities form intimate connections with their territories under the influence of cultural assimilation.

「加格达奇的雾 The Fog of Jagdaqi」樟子松吐出成熟的脊背/ 驯鹿掩盖沼泽的欲望/ 山谷与白雾幽会/ 影子在黑夜悲鸣/ 痉挛的土地倾斜潮水/ 风雪是荒原的闪电 Pine trees spit out the mature spine/ Reindeer conceal the desires of the swamp/ Valleys rendezvous with mist/ The convulsing land tilts with the tide/ Snowstorms are the lightning of the wilderness
「清醒梦 Lucid Dream」舌头盘根头发末梢/ 乌鸦退化它的语言/ 纾解囚徒的清醒梦/ 祂颠倒了纠缠 Tongue entwined with hair strands/ The crow regresses its language/ Relieving the prisoner's lucid dream/ God overturns entanglement


Film | Moving images | Monologue | Poetry


9 minutes 52 seconds

In the Post-Covid era of uncertainty, what do we really possess? A fish tank, a potted plant, or a personal laptop? In an intelligent environment that is highly controlled and supervised by algorithms and intelligent technology, where do we flee to?

The body, at this moment, is the only thing we really own by ourselves, it carries our biogenetic information, it carries our energy, mind and spirit, it carries our interaction with the outside world. The body is a temple that houses our seven senses, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, touching, thinking, and time. The body is a sacred place.

In future, with the help of technology, can our bodies have new organs and new senses? Can we shift from feeling the outside world to feeling the inside through new senses? Can technology transform the body from body enhancement to spiritual enhancement?

Thus, we imagine a future body-portable meditation device that allows us to listen to ourselves, explore ourselves, and seek peace and warmth in our body and mind in a constantly changing and chaotic environment. 

Inspired by the obsession with ruins, which transforms past grandeur into an illusion and a projection of human desire. That inherent incompleteness of the scattered fragments, therefore, creates spaces in imagination. The simultaneous coexistence of despair and fascination can be observed in ruins and also in the digital fragments peculiar to our time. Through incompleteness, we trace back to the past glory of history, project ourselves into the "avatar" as new incarnations at the present moment, and leave pieces of digital rubble as our legacy for the future to reconstruct and portray.

Within the boundary between humans and technology, what do we see? A projection installation that explores the relationship between humans and technology through incompleteness, imagination, and desire. It seeks to explore the flowing and blurred boundaries between humans and technology when perceiving different times, aiming to provoke reflection on the role of technology in shaping our perceptions and experiences of the world.

蚕食 吞噬时间裂痕的细菌/ 虚幻的妄念于酮体游走/ 它 吟诵着它的复制/ 遗忘 破碎 缺失/ 想象是边界的狂欢 Erosion/ The bacteria that devour the cracks of time/ Illusory delusions roam in the naked body/ It chants its replica/ Oblivion, shatter, absence/ Imagination is the carnival of boundaries
寄生 人是人的影子/ 背离幻象的涡流/ 祂在等待意识的形骸/ 白日梦的缝隙/ 剥蚀一切的化身 Embodiment/ Human is the shadow of human/ Deviating from the swirl of illusion/ In the form of a God/ In waiting for the form of consciousness/ In the slit of daydreams/ The incarnation that strips away everything
献祭 吞噬崩解的碎末/ 粒子是新的宿体/ 灵魂的影像像河流/ 自囚 凝视 欲望/ 恐惧孕育天堂 Sacrifice/ Devouring the collapsing debris/ Particles reshape the new body/ The projection of the soul is like a river/ Self-imprisonment, gaze, desire/ Fear breeds heaven


Installation | Poetry | Moving Images