Michael Lin is known for expanding ornamentation, nurtured by tradition within daily life, into unorthodox environments. For Towada Art Center he developed this work in a rest area with a nine-meter ceiling. Rather than hanging on the wall, however, it unfolds under our feet. Lin works around the world and is perhaps best known for his wall and floor paintings featuring traditional flower patterns appropriated from everyday textiles. Here, he presents a collage of floral patterns inspired by Nambu weaving, a traditional Towada craft. By cleverly creating a slight gap between the wall and the edges of the piece, Lin’s work creates an awareness of the architecture as a contextual frame. The piece appears to be a carpet.
Lin’s work is often described in terms of creating intimate spaces where visitors can relax. For Lin art thus exists in our daily lives, within familiar environments rather than as rarefied objects to be displayed. Awaiting completion by the audience, Lin’s work is conceived as relational. His projects are often installed in public spaces such as tennis courts, skateboard ramps, and museum cafes, where the work is contextualized in the social interactions that occur in these spaces.
Photo: Oyamada Kuniya
Born 1964 in Tokyo Japan; lives and works in Brussels (Belgium), Shanghai (China), and Taipei (Taiwan). Graduated from ArtCenter College of Design (California, US). Lin turns away from painting as an object of contemplation toward painting as a bounded, physical space, one we can settle into and inhabit. He orchestrates monumental painting installations that re-conceptualize and reconfigure public spaces. Using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional Taiwanese textiles, his works have been exhibited at major institutions including Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France, 2003), and were featured in a solo exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (US, 2004).