Untitled is a sculpture which looks like a table or bench put in the public space. Michael Lin explained, “An open sculpture is a public sculpture which can be acted on and/or slept on … It is a gathering place, a daybed, a concert stage, a dance floor, a playground, a meeting point, a beautiful work of art, a pedestal for other sculptures or actions….”
The sculpture, which has numerous possibilities of usage as street furniture in daily life, is turned into a new proposition for the role of art. A strategy that Lin often uses is to consider painting not merely as painting but something which could be expanded into a wall, a floor, furniture or other objects to perform some other functions.
The elements of Lin’s painting often resemble traditional Taiwanese futon patterns. As a result, the patterns on this work look very familiar to many of the East Asian audience and remind them of life in the old days. Borrowing images from daily life is a methodology of pop art, and in this case, the artist has applied this method in a sophisticated way that has resonance for people in the region.
Applying textile designs on horizontal, vertical and three dimensional objects, Lin surrounds the audience with his artwork and questions what painting is, what the relationship between two dimensional images and three dimensional spaces is, and even what the role of art for us is.
By Fumio Nanjo
Born in Tokyo in 1964, Michael Lin emigrated to the United States with his family in 1973 and moved to Taiwan in 1980. He received his BFA degree from the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles in 1990 and his MFA degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 1993. Lin currently lives and works between Taipei, Shanghai, and Brussels. His works reflect the influences of these diverse sites of cultural production and his movement between them.
Using designs from traditional Taiwanese textiles, his works ornament museum cafés, lobbies and facades in places such as P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Vancouver Art Gallery, transforming the institutional architecture of the museums and galleries.
Some of his latest solo exhibitions include “Michael Ming Hong Lin” at Galerie Urs Meile in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2003, “Michael Lin: Grind” at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, the United States in 2004, “Island Life” at Eslite Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan in 2006, “Michael Lin” at Galeria Nogueras Blanchard in Barcelona, Spain in 2007, “What a Difference a Day Made” at Shanghai Gallery of Art in Shanghai in 2008 and “I Am the Sun” at Eslite Gallery in Taipei in 2009. His art has also been exhibited at the Seventh Istanbul Biennial in Turkey in 2001 and the Second Guangzhou Triennial in Guangzhou in 2005.