the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china

‘the keyboard of isolation‘ by jody xiong of DDB china, 2011 the installation as viewed in an IT shopping mall all images courtesy the artist

‘the keyboard of isolation’ is an installation by jody xiong of the creative agency ddb china, created on behalf of the family care for grassroots community in shanghai, china. the piece was designed to raise awareness of the issues developed from china’s new-found infatuation with the online world. ‘the keyboard of isolation’ is built from several hand-crafted human figurines sealed away in glass containers in the shape of a 5 meter long keyboard displayed with the tagline, ‘go online and family is isolated’.

the piece pictures thirty-six families recreated as 9 centimeter figurines inhabiting isolated bubbles, separated into 115 keys as a result of their computer addictions. as families grow more and more dependent on computers to communicate, family care for grassroots community sought to help half a billion chinese net-citizens to realize how and why computers are becoming a point of contention within families and communities.

‘the keyboard of isolation’ traveled for over two months, beginning in an IT mall and ending in a public square. over the course of the installation’s movement around shanghai, an estimated 1,800,000 individuals had the opportunity to view the massive keyboard composed of figurines either overusing or being affected by the excessive use of technological devices sealed within glass jars of various sizes. this installation features an interesting dichotomy between handcrafted artistry encapsulated within a physical structure that immediately evokes a computer keyboard.

xiong’s environmental installation is now on show at zendai MOMA in shanghai, china.

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china the installed piece in its entirety

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china one figurine component being placed within one of the glass-formed keys

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china a detailed perspective of the finished piece

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china an artisan works on one of the miniature keyboard characters

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china several of the isolated figurines prior to decoration

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china a descriptive panel near the piece explaining the intention of the artists

the keyboard of isolation by jody xiong of DDB china compiled informative diagram provided by the artist

‘the keyboard of isolation’

project info:

client: family care for grass roots community creative director: jody xiong copywriter: jody xiong, leo liu art director: jody xiong, willian zhang, jack xuan designer: jody xiong photographer: nicolas siau illustrator: jody xiong typographer: jody xiong photographer: king zhang, alex chen

  • Shotgun in the space bar.

    May 17, 2012
  • go online and family is isolated!

    May 16, 2012
  • Thanks! a friendly reminder , excellent installation art and design.

    May 16, 2012
  • The installation was a very very relevant insight, it talks about how in the age of technology with all these laptops, actually we have isolated ourselves from each other. The irony of it was that we have mobile phones to connect, but for example during dinner time, people are on their phones not minding the real people around them, and are increasingly isolated without knowing or being conscious about it. These technologies have actually moved us away from the warmth of our family and home.

    May 16, 2012
  • These openness technology brings more good than bad. We need to learn how to do it in the right way, instead of wrong way

    May 15, 2012
  • I don\’t think that\’s what the artist is trying to say…
    Let\’s be totally generalizing and say, people have addictive tendencies. this means that things that are both immensely good can also be immensely destructive and enticing. Because the latter part is often neutralized by the greatness of world-altering inventions doesn\’t mean we shouldn\’t remember to \’tune out\’ once in a while and be with our families and friends in the real world.

    May 15, 2012
  • Oh yeah we should all shut down the internet and try sewing next to the fireplace…

    May 15, 2012

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999