Yanti Zhao


Class of: 2025

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Studio: Foam, acrylic paint, spray paint, wire, candle / Seminar: Colored paper, wire, fine liner, acrylic paint

Faculty: Anya Kurennaya (Seminar) and Beau Rhee (Studio)

Prompt: For studio, we are going to do a piece based on our weekly observations and the big content is "dream space". For the seminar we are taking our research and things we learned during our observations, combine those into a 12-24 pages zine.

For seminar I did a zine based on my own experiences of social anxiety and the need of a “safe space”. For studio I did a head piece using foam and wire, I want it to be an armor to protect me from “being hurt”. When deciding my concept for the final project, I thought about one question: why I want to create such an edgy and personal thing? It looks nothing like something people wear or see in everyday lives, it is just too aggressive and intimidated. Then I took some time thinking about my daily life, the look I present to others, I realized that I have been trying really hard to make strangers “fear” me based on my appearances and personal vibe, I did modifications on my body and I wear heavy makeups. If they are scared of me, they won’t get too close, so that I’m much safer. But who I am without any makeup or things for my appearances? I am just an insecure, “normal”, and socially awkward human being with trust issues and problems. If I can apply the elements of my makeup —— fierce, dark, kind of nonhuman look to my armor, maybe I will feel much safer even without any makeups in public places.