Yihao (Rayna) is a first-year student on the MA/PhD track focusing on Sino-European artistic interactions in the Qing period (1644-1911). She is primarily interested in European mechanical clocks and humanoid automata collected and appropriated by the Qing imperial court. Rayna holds a B.A. in art and art history from New York University Abu Dhabi (summa cum laude) with minors in theater and heritage studies. Prior to joining Washington University in St. Louis, Rayna worked as an adjunct research associate at Dhakira Center for Heritage Studies and NYU Shanghai’s Center for Global Asia.
As a visual artist, Rayna seeks to bridge her academic interest in material culture with her love for art practice. During her undergraduate studies, Rayna served as a studio monitor at the print/photo and mixed media studios for two years, where she both led and assisted tutorials for etching, block printing, silkscreen printing, cyanotype, ceramics, and laser cutting. She has also produced illustrations and designs for school merchandise, international organizations, and scholarly publications. Her most recent works can be seen at https://raynali.myportfolio.com/.