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Insights of an Eco Artist

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Magazine - Underground Art and Design (UAAD)

Underground Art and Design (UAAD)

Step into the world of Underground Art and Design (UAAD), a dynamic collective, pioneering artistic expression and innovation since 2022. From immersive exhibitions to global partnerships, UAAD's creative endeavors transcend borders, sparking cultural dialogue and shaping the future of art and design.

images of work from the UAAD

Joana: Okay, great. So everyone is okay. There is one of you missing, but he or she is not gonna be able to make it, right?

Amy: Drew is not going to make it.


Joana: Okay, okay. No worries about that, it's fine. I'm just happy to have all of you three here. It's such a pleasure to be able to talk to you. Is everyone okay? How is your day going?  

Fangyi: It's a hectic day. Just before we start, I just want to let you guys know that I do have to leave in perhaps 10 to 15 minutes, just because of all the travels and stuff. If that's okay with all of you. I really happy to be here

Yiou: yeah! 

Joana: It's fine. And so the questions are most for the group. I think I have two questions that are more individual. I will try not to miss that. So between 10, and 15 minutes ask the questions that are based for you. To begin I just want, if you can, to introduce yourself a bit and give us a bit of an overview of your practice. 

Fangyi: I'll start since I have to jump. So, hi everyone, I'm Fangyi, and you can also call me Yi Yi. Well, I'm currently a visual designer working at a design agency doing websites, stuff like mobile apps, stuff like that, like the commercial side of things. But on the side, I'm really passionate about, well, I graduated from Pratt Institute in Communications Design. And my practice is around the human-nature relationship, the interconnectedness of all of us and, you know, using a ceremonial way or ritualistic way of honoring nature and making it participatory and immersive basically immersive design, experience design, and yeah.

Joana: Amy, do you want to go next? 

Amy: Oh, sure. Hi, my name, my English name is Amy, but my Chinese name is Xiao Fan. Sometimes I go by Amy because it's easier for Starbucks people. I am the founder of Underground Art and Design, and I graduated from the Transdisciplinary Design Program at Parsons School of Design.

I now work as an editor of the Underground Magazine, as well as a designer of my own creative studio. My interest lies in social justice, the interconnectedness of the ecosystem, ingenuity, and also uplifting marginalized communities. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you. 

Yiou: My name is Yiou, and I'm a multimedia artist and interdisciplinary designer, I work on the intersection between mythology, technology, and ecologies creating sensory ecologies. And positioning non-human agents as experiencing subjects in many of my works.

And I graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I come from an architecture background but with a focus on digital media.

Joana: Great. Thank you. So a general question, how did the collective come together and what inspired you? 

Amy: I can introduce a bit of the background of Underground Art and Design, which was before we met each other. So, after graduating from Parson's Transdisciplinary Design, which is a program focusing on raising awareness and advocating for social justice, I realized there is a gap between the work of designers and also, like, the intention of them. For example, during my grad school program, we did a lot of projects, like working with marginalized communities, such as immigrants and also, some, for example, L. G. P. T. Q. community. But after graduating the designer's purpose is more like being hired by the companies and meeting the client's desire to create profits, for example, and we're kind of drifting away from the idea of we're designing for a better world.

So after working as a communication designer for half a year, I feel like it's really upsetting to work for the capitalistic machine and I quit it and back then me and also my friends were mostly designers and artists with no name and also no places in the world. So, we just decided, maybe we can just start our own online magazine or media platform so that we can bring more work like ours and also like minded communities and artists and designers to like, to bring an upfront to the world. It's just like, what you're doing right now, Joanna, and that's before we met each other. 

Because we have this online magazine featuring different kinds of artists whose work focuses on dismantling the current power structures and dynamics we also want to do some curation project that brings, like, a collective of works to form a larger narrative. And I immediately think of Yiou and Fang Yi and also Zhi, because our interests have this intersection. We are all interested in, for example, plans, and ingenuity. We're interested in, like, the whole ecosystem and Yiou has her body of works, focusing on, like, the body shape-shifting, hybridity and also Fangyi has the thesis project focusing on communicating with the earth and Drew works in like digital narrative of the museum. So that's how I thought about the opportunity that we can do a creation curation project together and that's how we started the exhibition called Ties That Cannot Be Unbound.

All images courtesy of Uaad.

Joana: Do any of you want to add something to the beginning of the collective?

Fangyi: I mean, that was, that was so well said. From my experience, the moment that I saw Amy launch the website, I immediately felt like I was, like, just connected to the initiative of the whole thing, the platform of the digital magazine. And I thought that it would be a really great opportunity to, you know, just feature emerging artists, because all of us, we have voices, and we have perspectives that we want to share with each other.

And then...Remember the time when Amy told me about Ties That Cannot Be Unbound? Well, at the time we didn't have a name yet, but the whole idea was surrounded by our interest in human nature, the ecosystem, human and non-human. We hope to raise awareness of this topic, not necessarily creating a solution, but having more people participate in the process.You know, having a discussion of it, and I think that's really, really valuable and we appreciate this opportunity so much.

Yiou: Yeah, me too. And I just wanted to add that the idea of ecosystem is also cultural and spiritual, and there are profound connections between culture and ecologies and multisensory art, contemporary art. I have been thinking on this topic for many years, and I think one of the problems of the nature cultural binary thinking is that it doesn't take account, take into account that a lot of ideas of nature we have are culturally constructed, and some of the culture is to, some of the nature to some people is culture to other people.

So, once Amy fleshed out this idea. I also thought I was very interested in exploring the ties because the ties essentially debunk this myth of culture and nature divide and of the human and non-human divide.

Joana: So I think that was beautifully said, by the three of you. Thank you for sharing that. So the key aspect of your collective is the intersection of your individual practices. And I'm very curious to know how because I have my practice and I have my project and I always try to intersect them, but I work mostly alone, I don't have other people that I can collaborate with. So how do you intersect your practices during this collective? 

Fangyi: So for me, I grew up always wondering this question of why everyone is saying humans are superior to all things. And I was wondering, like, who am I? What kind of preacher I am? As I started to grow up, I realized that now we talk a lot about creating human-centred designs, and human-centred products, and we become more and more arrogant. And I just want to stop, take a moment to step back and invite everyone to think about what else is out there. What else is there other than human? And we are actually living in this whole environment. And perhaps it's worth taking a moment to step back and think about a relationship with the environment that perhaps we are part of it. And also my background is, that I grew up in a Buddhist family. And my dad is, he's a Buddhist, like, he's a Buddhist physically. And I would say that I'm kind of influenced by the teaching as well. Although I wasn't a Buddhist at the time, but now I am. But basically, I'm influenced by a lot of their ceremonial practices, like honoring stones or going to the mountains and doing a lot of, you know, ceremonies and dancing, having a lot of symbolic meaning into things and giving life to the things that we thought they were.

You know, we assume that stone doesn't have life, but actually, they do, and they have a lot of cultural meaning behind it and a lot of spiritual meaning behind it. And that was when I wanted to just start take a look around the environment and see what natural elements are out there. There's water, there's earth there's the land, the soil, and also air.

And what if we change our perspective to examine it? Instead of smelling the air, can we see the air? Or can we use a microscope to enlarge the soil and see what's going on in there? And perhaps putting ourselves inside the soil instead of always stepping above it. You know, just trying to shift our perspective of the whole relationship. And hoping that once people see things from a different perspective, we might realize something that we haven't seen before, and perhaps we can be more humble. And starting to think of nature-centered things instead of just human-centered. And that's, that was the start of my practice. 

All images courtesy of Uaad.

Amy: I can just link to what Yi said because I met Yi at an exhibition that we were both participating. It was actually a speculative design exhibition. So I just noticed that Yi has this amazing speculative and critical thinking and also back then my practice was mainly focusing on future speculative design as well. It's more like on the socio technical aspect, but during my grad school, I took part in a project, which was working with New York's downtown Manhattan, Chinatown, which is like a future envisioning workshop hosted by the government.

And I was the bilingual facilitator of the program, and the whole program was to gather voices from the local community about, like, what kind of revitalization project the government should invest in. And that's how I combine with my speculative design practice with community envisioning practice, but as we got deeper into the project, I was more and more fascinated by just working, dealing with, like, local communities and seeking ways to make myself and my work as a container for other people's creativity insights and also their visions for future. So what I was creating was more like a facilitation guide or like a participatory guidelines for workshops and mostly questions, like the current speculative design methods start with the point of the presence. So we are standing on so many, like, accumulated injustice and also unequal power dynamics, and we're trying to project that into the future and try to solve that kind of issues in the future, but maybe we can do like the opposite.

We take a step back and we go back to revisit history and see what kind of power dynamic can be upset or dismantled and how would that affect our present and starting from an alternative present, what can we do to make our future more desirable? So at the time I met with Yiou, I also noticed that she has a lot of research in terms of, like, our nature and also some historical aspects and more importantly, like the whole cultural and the ecosystem thing that she just beautifully said so I'll just throw them like to Yiou and let her introduce her practice. 

Yiou: So I have been thinking about mythology because I realized that everything, our mental model, our perception of this universe and the relationships are all moderated by an underlying mental model, and the underlying mental model is structured by the mythology of the society, of the family, of the individual but it's more or less related to the society and even for atheists who don't consciously believe there is this kind of mental model, there is still, atheism is also a religion, and it is a belief system, and so everything is moderated by this belief system, and that's how I became interested in mythology. 

Mythology and its relationship in influencing the relationships between humans and non-humans and humans positioning like I remember Yi just said something about her Buddhism practice and about, like, stones and other non-human entities, sometimes even inorganic. And I have been thinking many years on the question, of whether those non-humans also think and perceive and experience, or whether that is an anthropomorphization. I think the two concepts are usually mixed up by other people. When people think, oh, this non-human, this tree is experiencing it, it is talking or it is dreaming and that is anthropomorphizing the tree. This view itself, okay, the problem and danger of this view is that this view comes from an ultimately anthropocentric perspective, thinking that the idea of thinking and feeling are all privileges of, exclusive to humans. And the problem with this thought is that it doesn't take into account that humans communicate and express thoughts, feelings, and emotions through a symbolic system, like our symbols and indexicalities, but different species and even non-species, like inorganic matter, may not share this symbolic system that we use to convey our feelings.

So, that is the key difference in anthropomorphizing non-humans and truly thinking about like a diverse and relativistic approach to the spiritual and cultural ecology, which is to reflect on having different symbolic systems. 

Joana: do you want to respond to this thought? 

Fangyi: Yeah, I resonate with so many things. And Yiou's and Amy's responses remind me a lot of my thoughts a year ago while I was developing my thesis. I was really asking the question of we often feel, you know, we feel the air, we feel the water. How do we feel them? And I was asking, how might water feel us? Like, I made an installation of how water might feel human. Like, when we start touching it, when we're projecting on it, does it have feelings? But when I hear Yiou's words and I just realized, oh, that is problematic. And we thought we were doing something as if we were the king of all things and we're, you know, looking down and saying, oh, do you have feelings? But, you know, it's all about being, like I said, humble and respecting all beings, instead of thinking that we are always superior. And, part of my practice was also, like Amy said, very participatory and also immersive the reason being, I think it's a powerful way of inviting people to actually experience it and making it part of the experience. And I think that's also something that Ties that cannot be unbound, trying to achieve is immersive experience. And we host a lecture, and we invite people to, you know, talk and discuss the topics.

All images courtesy of Uaad.

Joana: So, what type of initiatives and projects does the collective normally create and develop? 

Amy: So mostly it was Ties That Cannot Be Unbound exhibition, because it was like a gigantic project for all of us. We had to, for example, initiate an open call, slip-read through every submission that we got and kind of get in deep into the connect communication with the artists just to make sure that we could deliver their intentions and their message as well in this overall narrative. And also for Yiou, she's an amazing digital designer. She created the whole landscape for the virtual exhibition space, and there is a lot of, like, this is the 1st time we ever did a curation project.

So there's a lot of work like in the dark and we're so glad that the vibe of the whole community is really great. All the artists are really supported and we kind of practice my story and resonate with the audience as well.

Fangyi: I was just gonna comment, like, it's amazing to see audience response. Like, we feel like we're doing something that's at least making some impact. Like, we can't only do so many things, but at least it's been so much fun.

Joana: I was just gonna ask if you could tell us a bit more about the overall concept behind this virtual exhibition and some, because you said you had talks with I believe the artists. You also had a virtual exhibition divided into some different parts. So can you tell us or delve a bit deeper into into the concepts and the overall exhibition? 

Amy: Yeah I can start, feel free to jump in and add anything. So we want to examine the ties between ourselves, our bodies with the overall environment, as well as the ties within the whole ecosystem, like the fungus network under the earth.

It's so complicated and you can definitely not make, one entity at the center of the network. It's all connected and there is no start or end. It cannot be mapped out. So it would be a very complicated and intricate network. And we just throw ourselves, our perspectives in it. So it was like a collection of different perspectives, stories, experiences, and also ideas, feelings, creativities, and emotions.

We, because it's such a giant narrative, we divide it into three sub themes. The first one is bodies and environment. We have artists working directly with our human bodies, like the drawing or the translations of our movement, of our emotions, into, like, landscape, into pixels. It basically investigates, what is our positions in the overall ecosystem and how to reframe our relationship with them.

And the second sub theme is called organism that's artifacts, like, what you have shared, we need to, like, rethink. We need to, like, move away from the idea that we can, for example, decide what is good for bacteria, for example, and they also have their own intelligence, which is so different, so different from our own, and it's hard to understand.

But there are artists working with bacteria, with molds, with sans, with, like, both organic and non organic entity that develops their own shapes and forms their own movements within themselves. So it's more like leaving our own perspective behind and trying to take different ways to experience the world through the lenses of all those non human and organic and artifacts.

The last sub theme is called spirituality and physicality because we also have invited artists who are working more in like the spiritual field. And for example, artists who use dances and who use voodoos to create rituals and in order to create, like a deeper communication with the land, as well as artists who use different kinds of collage to create a dreamlike atmosphere and also the landscape of the world with mythologies, with different kind of figures.

Yeah, so these were just three sub-scenes, and we're trying to build, like, a large narrative above, an umbrella above the three sub scenes. And people can float, like freely in the 3 dimensions digital space, because it has no end and they can decide their own roles for exploring artworks, but in all, they can definitely get a sense of what the story is trying to tell. Yiou do you have anything to add? 

Yiou: Yeah, Amy has wonderfully captured the essence of many things in this exhibition, and I just wanted to add that in terms of the format of the exhibition, which is an online exhibition there will always be a gamified component. Gamified meaning that it is playfully interactive and at first actually, I personally don't, I usually don't participate as an artist in online exhibitions but after , like, fleshing out the details of the ideas with Amy and the rest of the group I became so attracted by this idea, and I thought, in this case, actually, online exhibition justifies the content and the scope of work that we want to do because it's more horizontal, like Amy has said, there is a virtually constructed environment and you can navigate inside of that world without gravity and it is accessible to anyone who has Internet.

So people are not limited by distance or location and more importantly people don't have to fly to a certain place to see it. So this whole idea itself is very it, there is some kind of brilliance involved with unlearning what an exhibition is and unlimiting the exhibition from the little white box of the gallery and making it more accessible and more horizontal and also gamification as a part of the experience of both visitors and artists inside this exhibition. 

I think is not just a new tool or something but actually, I think game engines or gamifications like including gamified platforms such as New Art City are revolutionizing the current art scene and they are embodying a mythical thought because the mythical thought includes elements that are traditionally considered supernatural and the level of access between different animate matters and narrative levels are all fluid and deconstructed in the gamified system.

So in a way, it is evoking the sense of the mythical thought, so that is where I see the format and the content of this exhibition match up.


Amy: and I, speaking of the idea of unlearning, I just quickly want to add that we, because we have this lecture as like a program, aside of the exhibition, it's more like the exhibition is focusing on what are the ties that cannot be unbound and the lecture or the talks is more like, what are the ties that we need to unbound with the world.

So we kind of invite some artists whose work might not fit into the larger narrative, but they do have like great unsettling perspectives around how we can reshape our power dynamics and also want to reflect on a lot of things that we have already taken for granted and have accepted and even have, like, defended it and to think maybe these are the things that we need to learn and we also consider this platform as like for emerging artists, not for established artists, because for galleries, they usually invite, like, big names artists to the lectures or the talks so that they can attract views.

But what we are trying to do here is to bring high quality ideas to discussion and to be seen and heard by more people. And also, this is a process of unlearning what the traditional galleries and traditional exhibitions have been doing.

Joana: Yeah, I really resonate with that. And it is amazing to see how you connect all these points and these concepts and these ideas that need to be discussed and brought forward to the world. 

It's amazing. So thank you for sharing. Can you also share any positive outcomes or any success stories? That you have seen during your collaborative work

Amy: I can start. First of all, a lot of people have asked, like, have you measured the views or the traffic to the website of your online exhibition? And the answer is, unfortunately, the website currently has no monitors over views or traffic. So we have no idea how many people seen the exhibition. We do receive some good, like, notes or, like, donations to our organization, which is, although they are a small amount, and I really appreciate it, and they also share some, like, positive feedback- mostly expressing, how they resonate to a certain type of work. But mostly we get into the real connection with unknown visitors, and we kind of discuss deeper into the topics and there was one artist who is from M.I.T. and his work is mainly with bacteria. And I actually met him in person in China. He traveled here just for, like, a temporary visit and we delved deeper into that personal connection and realize we both have an interest in, for example, fungus, tattoos, and spiritual things like that. So I feel like the real world connection is the most valuable positive outcome for me for this project. What about you, Yiou?

Yiou:  I was saying me too, through the process of organizing this exhibition, curating this exhibition, I've had a lot of conversations with artists, starting from the moment I invited them all the way to the opening ceremony and through this process our interpersonal ties deepened, and we also touched on a lot of common themes that we worked on so in a way, I think the most long lasting impact of this exhibition is a community that has formed.

Although many of us haven't seen each other in real life this community, this sense of community and network is like a network of life, of beings. A life that vibrates, that resonates with each other. I think that is just beautiful. And because I have participated in a lot of exhibitions in different cultures, but honestly, not all exhibitions achieve this level of connectedness. So, sometimes I think these ties that cannot be unbound, this whole curatorial practice has prophetically become a tie-like generator.

Joana: So beautifully said.

Yeah, I think a project like this, is the collaboration that we create together and the people we come across and create a relationship with that is one of the most beautiful outcomes that I can see from this project, myself included with this magazine. To see this happening and that we can be all across the world and still connect and still share ideas and create bridgesand ties, as you're saying that's just beautiful. 

Amy: Yeah, I feel like you're doing the same thing and you're doing it very well. 

Joana: Thank you. So in terms of your individual practices, how do you feel that your time within the collective has strengthened your own practice or made it grow or expand in some way?

Yiou: Because the process of like curating this and in the process of curating this exhibition, and in the process of fleshing out the details of the curatorial statement and the written text and everything, for me, personally, I consolidated many of the ideas that I have been a vague feeling for me and now they have been consolidated, concretized, like, articulated through language. And it empowers me and in my personal practice, I think it rather than translating directly into my project is more like it, it opens up a lot of new channels of thought for me.

And I began to read books and articles in the direction that I was inspired by the artists in this show and by our curatorial team. So I would say that it opened up my eyes to some readings. And I think that's a whole influx of inspiration and information that that is my like mark after I became involved in this.

Amy:  I definitely second with the point that it adds to my horizon like I got into different kinds of perspectives and I got to learn different kinds of culture. And for me, because, I know Yiou is an amazing multimedia designer and she has the talent, and for me, I feel like I am more interested in connecting people.

So I'm more serving like a container for different kinds of work. And that leads me to also join another collectives, is more like I have another group of artists and designers. They're focusing on uplifting Asian artists and designers voices. So, after this virtual exhibition, I actually tested the water with them to create an in person art exhibition and art fair in New York City in Soho area.

And it was actually pretty successful as well, and what I enjoyed most is also connecting different Asian artists and read about their ideas, their work, their practices, and trying to craft a story out of them, and also promoting us through different multimedia, social media channel using the design skills that I am proud of. So it's more like I am more and more open to create different kinds of platforms so that more artists can share their works.

One last point. I realized container might not be a good word because with different kinds of containers, there is siloed. But what we're really trying to do is, for example, if we're working with the ties that cannot be unbound community we're telling one story, but we're definitely open to like, change ideas with other communities.

And when we're doing this Asian exhibition, what we're trying to do is actually to bring in more people outside of the Asian culture to visit all those artworks. So it's more like merging different kinds of culture and get people to meet face to face.

Joana: Thank you, Amy. So my question was if you have any new upcoming projects or initiatives that you would like to share.

Amy: Our first collaboration is a group curatorial project, but we find this amazing connection with our personal practices. So we just move towards like, project collaboration as well. We'll see how it goes.

Yiou: I really look forward to meeting both Amy and Yi in person because we actually haven't met in person before but we're getting there. Amy and Yi have met, recently. 

Joana: Okay, I wasn't aware that you haven't met personally before. So this is all online communication. Okay. That's it on another level. Amazing, just to be able to connect like that because in person, if you have met personally, it's easier to schedule everything. And you know, we create more of an interconnectedness with each other, but online spaces can be complicated. So I really hope that you are able to meet each other in person and evolve from that.

Yiou: Yeah, but it also makes me reflect about how COVID has permanently restructured communication and people's relationship. Actually, the most intimate group that I feel like I belong to is an internet community called Interhelping team of animal lovers in the Endoprocene.

So it's an online community that I have joined for many years and I actually engage in conversations with them on a daily basis. It's very weird to think that we are so atomic that we're all dispersed over the globe and still able to maintain, like, spiritually, mentally and emotionally close connections with certain people. It doesn't apply to everyone, but sometimes it just works. And it's just so surreal to think about that. 

Joana: Yeah, it is as you said, COVID completely changed the way that we connect. I believe that maybe I wouldn't have created this magazine if COVID didn't happen. So some good things happened from, you know, this global pandemic. A lot of negative things, but positive things too because we had to adapt to being inside and stuff like that. 

So in your perspective, how do you feel artist collectives contribute to the art world? 

Amy: For this collective, it's actually very funny because while I'm in China and there's some like companies who reach out to me like, we notice all the design work that this collective do, and they want us, they want to hire us to do some, like, visual communication design for them.

So It's like hard, it's hard to find a balance between make a living with this collective and making art through this collective. So, because we are working as a non profit and we're trying to make things going, so I'm also taking the design projects right now just to make sure we have, like, a steady revenue for this collective, but in the future, we're definitely seeking to hold more curatorial projects and also explore how we can bring, like, how Yiou beautifully said, people dispersed in the world and to like, connect spiritually and mentally and emotionally through art. We just have no idea because the world is changing so fast.

Yiou: Yeah, I have so much confidence and optimism in the impact that artist collectives have on the earth, because artists are, especially eco artists, are a group of very sincere people, sincere and authentic, and it would be beautiful to connect artists to artists and also extending that to a broader community related to art, including curators, filmmakers, and creators in general. Yeah. I think there could be something very meaningful about this. 

Amy: Yeah, I just want to add that I'm not sure, oh, like, what about you, Joanna? Because we are a placeless collective that we don't have, like, our studio space or gallery space. So unlike the traditional organizations that can have a base to help with regular activities. So, it could be a challenge because it's really hard to get deep into the connection with the local community. But I think we can take that as advantage because it's how we can have like a wider connection with people all over the world and break the boundary of borders.

Joana: Yeah, I do see your point and your perspective. Not having your own space, your studios where you held exhibitions and talks and stuff like these can be a challenge sometimes because you are not rooted in a specific community. But if you are able to connect with people all over the world and curate exhibitions all over the world and have talks that can have a lot of positive points and positive views because you are able to be rooted in other communities and have different perspectives that maybe otherwise you wouldn't have because you would be fixed on a location, a physical location. 

amy: Yeah, and sorry, one last thing to add when we were holding like international open call for a company that I worked for I noticed that in terms of policy, U. S. law is actually rejecting works from a certain amount of countries, which are highly political sensitive, but with that placeless collective we actually got into artists in that kind of countries, and we actually found out, and it's really a pity when he told us that during the opening event, he might drop at any time because of there's a strict monitor over, like, the connection with the United States.

So I feel like there is a battle between a non profit artists collective with, like, the overall geographical politics. Yiou, do you want to add anything? 

All images courtesy of Uaad.

Yiou: I was just reflecting and marinating on what Amy just said. And I think it's a pity, but it's also so empowering to think that it also relates to what we have been discussing earlier about unlearning and like, abolitionist practices. Because from the moment that we realize that we are also products of colonialism and capitalism and a lot of artificial constructs, from that moment we realize, we must begin to think about abolitionist practices on a daily basis, and how it just reflects in curatorial artistic practices. Yeah, it's just thinking out loud. 

Joana: There has been a very beautiful conversation. I only have one last question. If artists would like to join or connect with you or collaborate in some way or support your work, how could they do that?

Amy: It's simple. They can visit our website, and they can also email us at and we welcome any kind of emails, whether inquiries or submissions or simply like a discussion of intention.

Our Instagram handle is at as well. And just answering your question, yes, we're open to submissions, whether to our magazine or to future curatorial projects as well. 

Joana: So that's everything I have Yiou do you want to add anything? 

Yiou: Not in particular. It's been a really pleasant, it's beyond pleasant, conversation with you and Amy, and Yi Yi. And I'm very grateful for having this conversation, it further creates more ties. 

Amy: Thank you so much for your time, Joanna, and wish you all the best for you and your magazine as well. 

Joana: Thank you. 

black logo of the UAAD
UAAD cover image for their virtual exhibition ties that cannot be unbound

Underground Art and Design (UAAD) was established in October 2022 in New York City and serves as both an artist-led organization and a creative studio. Our online platform has garnered viewership from 103 countries.

As an art organization, we have successfully curated various physical and immersive virtual exhibitions, notably "Ties That Cannot Be Unbound" and "Alt-Alterity," and co-hosted AAAAH! Weekend three times in New York City, celebrating Asian art and design brands and small businesses.

Our collaborative efforts have resulted in partnerships with notable clients such as XEV, SuperElle, Cosmo Magazine, Shanghai Media Group, Arcplus Group PLC, and Gary Porter Creative, showcasing our ability to deliver projects that resonate across diverse audiences. UAAD stands as a testament to the power of art and design in fostering cultural dialogue and innovation, continually pushing the boundaries of creativity and collaboration.

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