Ruihan "Ray" Xia (夏睿涵) is a visual & experience designer, an intermediate programmer and front-end web developer, a feminist, a tech-savvy Buddhist, a gamer, a dreamer, a practitioner, and a proud Hmong girl from Ge-Lao Ethnic Minority group of China.
Nüoteny is a series of collectible Designer Toys, also called art toys, conceptualized and revolved based on the idea of a feminist futuristic identity. Overall, Nüoteny aims to combine artist advocacy, storytelling, user interactions, and the design approach of Blind Boxes, also called mystery toys, to discuss further how creative forms of play can raise potential awareness or structural reformations in an established misogynistic society.
With a variety of interests in topics including but not limited to intersectional feminism, anti-objectification, ostracization and citizenship, otherness, and the psychology of surprises, Nüoteny projects its core question to the world by asking how the media hierarchies (from gossip to literature, from theater script to circulated press, from printed issues to multi-channel networks) shape, manipulate, and condition our expectations of the female body, hence created such an inherently misogynistic world that long served as the foundation of the contemporary consumers’ market.
The conceptual research of Nüoteny closely revolved around the three F-words of the artists’ choice: Fitted, Fertile, and Forever Young. Such values are often viewed as the primary societal expectations for a proper lady in the East Asian region. The outcome of Nüoteny is to utilize the ever-growing market of designer toys as a platform, to mock on the three F-WORDS and other hackneyed perceptions of women publicly, to disobey the gender binary ideology, to create designed artifacts with speculative and futuristic sparkles.