Object 2: Ying Yang symbol as a nail design

May 28, 2021


Invented in China as long ago as 600BCE, the principle of the Yin Yang symbol is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites. This concept of duality forming a whole is used in various different ways, but recently has become a popular nail design. This symbol ‘belongs’ to the Chines religion, specifically roots in Taoism. As the concept of Yin Yang is associated with Chinese, it could be argued that particular communities of knowers shouldn’t be welcomed to use it, especially as a nail design because it could be seen as degrading and discourteous.

One way in which this object contributes to this exhibition is by the controversy of whether or not the Yin Yang symbol should be welcomed to all communities of knowers, some of which could just use it as a nail design because they find it pleasing to the eye. The gesture of using it as a nail design could be seen as ignorant, which parallels the article from The Atlantic. Both these objects show how specific knowledge can be taken out of context and used for the benefit or preference of people’s desires.

Another way in which this object contributes to the exhibition is through the argument that this sign of ‘utility and balance’ should be allowed to be accessed by all communities of knowers. The thought of complementary forces is experienced by everyone, proposing that this knowledge is welcomed to be used by all individuals as it is a universal sign which can be interpreted in various ways. I have noticed an example of this on social-media, as the knowledge received by the following of influencers can be interpreted depending on the individual.

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