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Yaxi Xiao ('23): Photography

Exploring the boundaries between the virtual world and our reality

Student Bio

My name is Yaxi Xiao (‘23), and I study Art and Philosophy at William & Mary. My art concentration is on Photography, which allows me to view the world from a different perspective. Within the little viewfinder, one needs constantly to be aware of the surroundings you are looking at. Composition, color, and content need to be well considered before clicking the shutter.

Yaxi Xiao Headshot

I use photography to explore the relationship among various subjects: between viewer and the observed, human and nature, and different individual connections.

This summer, Professor Dudik helped facilitate a customized mentorship program with four prominent photographic artists/educators. I was able to work closely with them and constantly receive important feedback on my artistic research. Through this experience working with professional photographers, I not only learned a lot of useful techniques, but I was also able to know how they think and work with their photos. I was able to develop a more systematic approach to deal with mine, and I think that is my most important gain.

During the mentorship program, I mainly worked on a project exploring the boundary between the virtual world and our reality. This is a relatively large subject, and I found in the beginning that it was hard to narrow the topic down to something I could deal with. Everything started to become clear after several meetings with my mentors. I was able to find a clue and go from there. I present to you a selection of five photos from this project.

Student Work

Below are five untitled photographs by Yaxi Xao.

A photograph depicting sky and mountains

A photograph of a movie scene depicting a woman on a beach walking alone

A photograph depicting trees

A photograph depicting a woman among trees

A photograph of a movie scene depicting a man breathing fire