Meet VALLEY’s Fall 2019 Campus Culture Section Opener: Leo Wang

Photo by Shannon Soboslay

Some might know Leo Wang as the student that is always dressed up with beautiful fashion pieces and accessories. He expresses himself through fashion and art and has translated that into something he wants to do for a living.

Wang is in a five year program, studying a double major in landscape architecture and a bachelor’s of fine arts in sculpture. He walks around campus trying to spread a positive message, “#SoFab.”

He explains #SoFab as a way for people to be confident in what they are doing, wearing and using social media for.

Photo by Shannon Soboslay

“I’ve been working on my #SoFab series for around three years, and I think it is ironic how people say whatever we post on social media is ‘so fake’ so I wanted to turn that around with my #SoFab art,” says Wang.

Next to him on the table was a handbag freshly painted with #SoFab. He asks the question, “We use social media, but what is real?”

Leo also danced in THON 2019 for the Chinese Student and Scholar Association, which is the only Chinese organization that has THON Dancers.

Leo’s reasons for choosing Penn State all made sense in order for him to be comfortable here. He grew up in Florida and the humid weather wasn’t enough for him — he wanted to move more north. He also said he wanted a college town, lots of programs and a large school.

The thing that really sealed the deal was that Penn State is one of the top 10 LGBTQA+ Friendly schools, which was something that was extremely important to Wang.

A question he uses for his artwork a lot is trying to determine what is the definition of real or fake. A lot of his inspiration for his own art by fashion.

He likes to use art to spread messages and change the way people think. A recent art piece is the #SoFab 2.0 where he takes a play on FlamBOYant and tries to break barriers.

“I like to make my art related to myself, that is really important to me. We are not better than one another, we are all different,” explains Wang. “I think it is OK to show that dreamy versions of ourselves if that is what we want to do.”

Photo by Shannon Soboslay

Wang has spent the last three years working on his #SoFab art creating pieces to bring this idea to life. One piece that stood out was this T-Shirt from Amazon covered in Louis Vuitton vintage hand bags with chains from Amazon. Leo explained this piece as something to bind together what is real and what is fake — the whole idea of #SoFab represented in an art piece.

Upon graduation, Leo hopes to further his art career. He thinks art is important for humans to be seeing in their every day life.

“Art should never just be seen in a gallery, make it public art for others to see as well,” says Wang.

He said that it is important to be yourself and express yourself through the ways in which you feel comfortable.

“Don’t let life limit you,” says Wang.

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