Reuxn Yao explores the relationship between the digital and analogue in his process-focused practice

The London-based designer explores authenticity, self-identity and memory in his work.

12 July 2023

There is a particular beauty in the process of making that often goes unshared due to an emphasis on perfection. But all is not lost in the practice of London-based multimedia designer and researcher, Reuxn Yao. Using a selection of raw materials that we use on a daily basis – from the physical to data information – he questions and challenges design disciplines as we know them. “I like to call it ‘media translation’, going from digital to analogue or the other way around.” This exploration sees him focus on the ever-shifting nature of the internet, publishing and visual communication design, with the desire to open up conversations around our relationships with them.

Reuxn’s work also has much to say about self-identity in the digital age. One of his latest projects, Uncreative Portrait: What If I Am Nobody, collates 300 interpretations of his own portrait, asking questions related to our authenticity online and how this journey shows up in our physical memory, often asking himself “is there a line between ourselves and our data shadow?”. The process of presenting these portraits in many different styles makes the separation between our authentic selves and our relationship to social media and our digital trail more apparent. With a practice that more honestly represents the trial, error, shame, fear and excitement around creativity, Reuxn’s approach can also be an illustration for a more mindful way of going about our lives online and off.


Reuxn Yao: Isn’t it life? (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2020)


Reuxn Yao: Digital Material (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2022)


Reuxn Yao: Digital Sublime, The aura in the age of digital reproduction (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2021)


Reuxn Yao: The Chair (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2020)


Reuxn Yao: A Line Which Forms A Volume 5 (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2021)


Reuxn Yao: A Line Which Forms A Volume 5, 2 (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2021)


Reuxn Yao: Uncreative Portrait 2 (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2021)

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Reuxn Yao: Uncreative Portrait (Copyright © Reuxn Yao, 2021)

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About the Author

Yaya Azariah Clarke

Yaya (they/them) joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in June 2023 and became a staff writer in November of the same year. With a particular interest in Black visual culture, they have previously written for publications such as WePresent, alongside work as a researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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