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9 Dec

Cyshimi Dazed 100 | Dazed

For transdisciplinary artist Cyshimi, nail art isn’t just decoration that adorns the body. As a substitute, their ornate nail sculptures, which extend out from the fingers in startling, unconventional forms, are augmentations that alter and shape the performativity of the body.

Born and raised in Brazil to Taiwanese and Chinese immigrant parents, Cyshimi grew up feeling different, and their art became a strategy to work through these experiences of alienation. Spanning sculpture, digital art, installation and performance, Cyshimi’s creations explore themes of ancestry and identity and lift questions of hegemonic beauty standards. Echoes of the long pinky fingernail, a convention amongst Chinese men which dates back to the country’s dynastic days, for instance, might be seen within the sheer length of Cyshimi’s nail creations.

“Plenty of my work seeks to disclose that historically, nails are a robust symbol of resistance, empowerment and identity,” they told Dazed. “Having them can also be a way of celebrating plurality and variety of bodies, where oftentimes it’s imagined that there’s one possible way of life, when there are literally infinite others.”

Recently, Cyshimi has been transgressing the boundaries of IRL art to experiment with the digital. For his or her piece “Jungle Walker”, they created sculptural biomorphic nails inspired by natural textures and photographed them in front of a forest on a TV screen. From 3D art to 2D image, the piece then became crypto-art via NFT, their first minted piece. “I’m really pleased with it,” they are saying.

Text Alex Peters

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