Finding the Art in Business: Xiang Li

10.5.2016 Accounting, Article, General, M.S. in Accounting, Reynolda Campus, School News, Undergraduate Business

By Kory Riemensperger, Communications Intern

You might assume students at the Wake Forest School of Business find a certain beauty in numbers and spreadsheets. Andy Warhol put it this way: “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”

For Xiang Li (BS ’17), a more traditional kind of art finds a home alongside the finance and accounting textbooks she reads for class every week. In addition to a rigorous double major in accounting and finance, she is a featured artist at the START Gallery in Reynolda Village. Her exhibition ,“Femme Fatale and Other Satires,” which uses ink and acrylics on paper, will be featured through October 7.

“This art show is about identity and paradox,” said Li. “On one hand, I create these works as an act of introspection – as examining my identity. On the other, I let the art lead when I’m creating – out of this process I explore the conflict between concrete forms and unconscious thoughts.”

Li said the five-year Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program drew her to the School, and she decided as a sophomore to double major in finance and accounting. She plans to earn her MSA degree after Commencement in May 2017.

“I love the fact that I get to see the financial side of different accounting functions, and that I get to see financial issues from both an external and an internal point of view,” said Li. “In the business school, we do a lot of activities that involve both analytical and decision-making skills — something that I enjoy greatly and that I can compare to my art with a different kind of passion.”

For Li, the art and business world are separate entities, though she isn’t opposed to eventually combining the two.

“I consider art my creative outlet, or something I hold on to introspect myself from time to time. I just enjoy the process of creating works with a free flow,” said Li. “Nonetheless, I am looking for a way to eventually combine art and business as my career path – something that can utilize my business analytical skills and my art mind.”

The START Gallery is located at 122A Reynolda Village. Learn more at