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Shadow (Xiaoxue) Tian

MA work

Family Album

The subversive force of a found image

My aim is to discuss the fragile quality of the photographic object, but also the equal fragility of our lives, our history and our memories.

These things are so easily lost with the passage of time; what we see in the present is only a fragment of a distant memory.

My concept is rooted in my everyday life. I often visit car boot sales where I find many precious objects that have been lost and abandoned by their owners. I decided to seek out family photograph albums. The photos contained in these albums depict anonymous people and have mysterious backgrounds.

As I collected more albums I was surprised at the similarities I saw between them: the subject's postures; the themes of the photos; their compositions; the number of individuals depicted; and the backgrounds these figures were set against.

The memories of these albums are woven together through these common elements, which lead the viewer to experience a new world and fantasy. Curiosity surfaces about the unknown memories that exist within this world, and about the resonance of collective memory.

I wish to explore this physically through the process of knitting together two overlapping images to constitute a new picture, and a new world behind it.


  • Shadow(Xiaoxue) Tian
  • MA Degree


    School of Communication


    MA Visual Communication, 2014

  • I have become touched and excited by the ordinary details of life. I love to play with obscure and intimate concept, to create art and to design. In working on my projects I have been so inspired by the different textures of memory and different medium of language. I am currently working in the realm of parallel photography. I also enjoy exploring the concept that a plethora of emotional states might be implied through differing images.The ‘weaving’ together of lost photographs of families and everyday situations not only evoke a ‘practice of everyday memory’ but are poignant in an intense process of making.

    I had been involved in a highly successful exhibition in January which not only included my work, but also provided  me with an opportunity to explore curation as a practice.I would love to continue working in a similar curatorial role in plans for showing work in a gallery.

  • Degrees

  • MA Graphic Design, Camberwell College of Arts, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • Exponential Horn Project, Science Museum, 2014; Zou Pop Up Exhibition, London, 2014; The Practice of Everyday Life, 70 House Gallery, London, 2014 ; Work-in-progress Show, ROyal College of Art, 2014 ; When Nothing Is Sure, Everything Is Possible, Hanmi Gallery, London, 2014; Graduate Show, Camberwell College of Arts, 2012 ; Public Screening Exhibition, 78 Brixton Road, London, 2011; Work-in-progress Show, Camberwell College of Arts, London, 2011