Ramona Jingru Wang

Featured on i-D: The photographer confronting techno-Orientalism, one cyborg at a time, 9.1.2023
Featured DOCUMENT Journal: ‘My friends are cyborgs, but that’s okay’ portraits a posthuman paradise, 9.27.2023

“My friends are cyborgs, but that’s okay” is a mockumentary project made to imagine a world where Asian bodies navigate as cyborgs in a hegemonic human society.  It explores the complex state of being cyborgs and asian — fluid, transgressive, marginalized but also stereotyped as unemotional and inhuman.

In A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, Donna Haraway once suggested that “'women of color' might be understood as a cyborg identity, a potent subjectivity synthesized from fusions of outsider identities''. Cyborg myth for Haraway is about “transgressed boundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities which progressive people might explore as one part of needed political work”.

Asian bodies especially, in the media and in general are often seen as robotic, intelligent but less human. Different from Orientalism, the Techno-Orientalism found in many speculative fiction films and books, such as Blade Runner, imagines the future to be hypo technological cities resembling Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and sexualized, dehumanized asian looking cyborgs. The series is an attempt to create a narrative of cyborgs of our own: My friends are cyborgs, but that’s okay. It is to envision a change of the prevalent binary view, reconstructing the boundaries of daily life and to create a dangerously happy ever after posthuman world for cyborgs.