Hongjie Yang studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where he received his masters degree in Contextual Design. Since then, he has focused his attention on work that examines where the distinctions in nature blur between intervention and non-intervention, as intervention itself starts to be seen as part of a natural process. For his Synthesis Monolith series, he sculpts large forms from aluminum and stainless steel in which volumes of metallic rubble appear to dissolve as they reveal the precise, mirrored surfaces integrated within. The key to Yang’s work is that within both the polished facets and the rough surfaces, we see a reflection of ourselves.
It is through transformation that we find enlightenment. The examination of this idea that lies at the heart of the work of Hongjie Yang – metamorphosis, the process of altering form, a change in nature. In his view, “Nature as we know it is coming to an end.” More precisely, what is drawing to a close is a particular kind of conception of what nature is – a place untouched by the interventions of humankind.
Humans have been a part of the ecosystem of the earth for may thousands of years. However, it is only recently that many began to construe the acts of humankind as being something separate from, perhaps even in opposition to, what we call the natural world. This view denies a very fundamental truth – that we are and always will be a part of the whole. There are indeed forces which move in opposition to one another, often set into motion by our own actions, but these forces are contained within the larger system of growth and decline, life and death, light and dark, order and chaos – the dualities of existence. It is the convergence of these forces, Synthesis, that Yang explores in his work.