Rikas Xiaoyan Shen is an artist, researcher, creative technologist and interaction designer whose work crosses a number of disciplines. She is a 2nd year graduate student in the Program in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT. Shes holds a bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from City University of Hong Kong. Her interest is in interdisciplinary practice which will build the bridge between art, science, culture and technology. She has special interests in practices with life sciences and neuroscience. She also loves creating interactive installations, interfaces, and wearable to explore new possibilities for human interaction experience. Her works have been exhibited in US, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
She also loves drawing, cooking, swimming, playing basketball, and fencing (sabre).
I double-majored in Illustration and Communication Arts at the Hugo Design Institute. After interning for famed graphic artist Veruca Mafnas, I went on to design at ad agency Showcase, where I worked for nearly three years.
I balanced my day job with personal creative work, like collage and woodblock printing, which garnered attention from a few indie publishers. Eventually, I got offers from more established magazines, so I decided to design for Showcase on a freelance basis. This allowed me to work on other cool projects, from emerging brands to current events.
My creative approach—no matter the medium—is to find points of tension behind the idea I’ve been assigned or am interested in. I do several iterations on each point and usually end up refining the one I find most controversial.
For me, controversy isn’t about instigation, but rather, a way to arrest your audience. It’s a way to plant a little bit of desire in their hearts; a yearning to turn the page and learn more about your idea. Ultimately, it’s about creating memorable images.
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