Xi Zhu turns personal information into poignant objects.

In the digital zeitgeist, data is the currency we trade in: what apps we use, what status updates we like, and even what places we visit are all carefully catalogued in databases and servers across the world. Consequently, we are always looking for meaning in data that offers us a chance to understand and make relationships between our decisions and how we perceive identity.

Xi Zhu’s Identity Library is an exploration into identity, immigration and data visualization. Rather than seeking to have the data make assumptions about the people’s habits and lives, Zhu’s approach is quite direct. Interviewing many Asian immigrants currently living in the United Kingdom, she has created a series of books which offer us a look at the mental journeys, relationship statuses and sexual politics affecting each person without ever revealing details. Still, the result is a series of anonymous objects that seem to offer a poignant and meaningful way of data visualizing experience.

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