Medically-minded tech artist Lu Yang has a proclivity for the less sentimental aspects of anatomy and biology. Her 2012 work, “Revived Zombie Frogs Underwater Ballet,” was a chorus line of little dissection specimens arranged in a tank, which Yang reanimated with electrodes and a MIDI controller for a little froggy choreography (the frogs were recycled from previous use—no animals were harmed in this corpse ballet). Yang also makes some disgustingly compelling 3-D printed jewelry modeled after cancer cells. Her most high-concept work however, is definitely Uterus Man, an animation and video game based on a male superhero who derives his power from the uterus. How did this concept emerge? Yang says:
I’ve always thought that the shape of the uterus looks like a human figure with arms stretched open and legs crossed. So when I designed Uterus Man, you can identify different parts of the uterus on different parts of his armor. From an ambiguous sexual view, this superhero with unusal powers may look like a man, but the source of his powers actually springs from the generative capability that belongs to a woman. This is an ironic design that sort of satirizes and questions the principle of biological reproduction in our world
UterusMan can use various tricks to fight enemies. Some of these tricks are attributed to genetic and hereditary properties, such as changing the enemy into a weaker and lower-level evolutionary species, and then attacking. Or causing hereditary diseases or changing the enemy’s sex to lower its fighting ability, and then attacking.
I am 100% sold on this hilariously subversive concept. First of all, Uterus Man gets a sort of HR Giger-looking “pelvic chariot”—arguably the most mental superhero vehicle of all time. When he’s not cruising around in a skeletal ride, he has a skateboard modeled after a bloody maxi pad, and can propel himself on a high-pressure stream of… red liquid. He can also make babies, who fight for him at the end of an umbilical leash—there’s even enter something called “baby beast mode,” which sends feral infants to do your bidding!
You can see the animation for Uterus Man above, and a sample from the video game below—it looks really fun and well-designed! The game was recently featured in arcade console form at Yang’s latest show, and an open-source version of the Uterus Man video game is apparently still in the works.