Find out what makes Lisa Xing More Than a Photographer


Born in Sichuan Province of China and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Lisa Xing uses her camera to explore the way people live and want to share their stories. Capturing subjects in their natural environments, and through Xing is motivated to capture the nuances of everyday life. Her East-Asian Canadian identity and experience working in vibrant cultures around the world have informed her approach to storytelling, as she captures unbiased photographs of the most unexpected of scenarios.

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

PWB: What makes you more than a photographer? 

Lisa Xing: More than a photographer, I am the daughter of Chinese immigrants who moved here with a single suitcase 30 years ago. My parents were doctors. When my mother came she worked overnights at a fast food restaurant to make enough money to bring me to Canada. Every time I take a photo, I don't just see a shot through the lens, but countless stories. 

 A photographer has to have life experience. I've moved across the country and worked from various continents. From that experience in seeing the way people live, the differences between cultures allows me to empathize with people and appreciate their way of life.  

Beautiful images may not necessarily mean they evoke joy, but as long as they evoke emotion, I've done my job. 

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

PWB: How has your work as a photographer connected you to your community? To the world? 

From the U.S., to Canada to Korea and India, I've been able to show the colours and textures of the world - the folks at home and to the people I meet in other countries. It's a form of communication, often more powerful than words. 

PWB: How does your work expand on or dismantle existing narratives of Identity and Immigration? 

LX: I think we are often quick to put people in boxes and prescribe labels, often even subconsciously. This is why I like to feature people in their natural surroundings … I like to humanize the people I photograph to show their daily life and struggles. 

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

Photo by Lisa Xing for Shiksha Alok

PWB: What does storytelling mean to you? 

LX: It's capturing candid reactions, moments, actions to show what people are going through. I keep saying I like to capture the authentic way people live, and it truly comes down to that--whether it's a facial expression, someone's posture, or the way they interact with their surroundings. These nuances can reveal so much about a person and place.

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