3. Yiwei Bo



"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

- Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (1886), Chapter IV.



Strict government control, overdeveloped technology, environmental disasters, survival, and loss of emotion and individuality; dystopia is a speculatively imagined world that is as dehumanizing and frightening as possible. The subject matter of dystopia is not about being fictional or predictive, it is rather descriptive and representative of the current society. It shows us, from a bird’s eye view, what is currently happening and what will happen next.

The concept of dystopia is tightly intertwined with the concept of time. When the present looks into the past, the past stares back to the present and asks is this the future the past has envisioned? And when the present looks forwards to the future, the future looks back and questions “what have we done in the past?” The causes and effects keep looping, and the consequences are never wrong.

Dystopia is a common topic in many different fields such as literature, movies, TV series, and fine arts. Writers can use vivid expressions to provide readers with unlimited imagination of a dystopian world; film directors can utilize exquisite storytelling and profound camera language to present audience with a visual feast, letting the viewers indulge in a realistic dystopia; Artists with their tools and professional skills are able to fulfill their creativity and to bring artworks to the audience. So what does the topic of dystopia look like in the field of graphic design?

From a bottom-up perspective, I would like to showcase the daily lives of civilians in a dystopian future through the lens of graphic design - what they eat, what they wear, what they do, and who they interact with; and then to explore the larger context such as social structure and global scenarios. And perhaps I can make my audience reflect on their own; who they are as individual human beings in today’s world, and who they want to become in the future.