Leyao Xia

MFA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction

I am Leyao Xia, a Chinese MA graphic design student. 

Before coming here, I was a self-taught graphic designer. And I remember, at that time, all my efforts to design were timid and cautious due to the fear of doing anything bad. That might be the reason why the works I created during MA varied widely in visual styles. In the movie Jurassic World, the new transgenic dinosaur, who raised in isolation, killed everything that moved after she escaped from the cage just to learn where she could fit in the food chain. Similarly, when designing in a totally free environment, instead of trying to find a certain style that suits me best, I kept exploring different visual styles just to know what I could achieve.

I always complained about the utilitarian environment I was brought up in, since it was the source of my anxious personality. But I have to admit that anxiety, mainly about diffidence and the fear of death, was the inspiration of all my works in MA. Through the deconstruction of my daily life, I found it quietly forced me to create a fantasy world in mind to hide in, and urged me to adopt an extremely positive attitude towards life to survive. So in MA, my practice was to visualize those ideas triggered by it in different design languages and witness how this simple emotion gradually remoulded my life.