Lin Tao was born in Dalian, Liaoning Province, in 1976. He graduated with a master's degree in Lacquer Painting from the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2008, where he teaches currently as a lecturer. As inspiration for his creative work, Lin Tao constantly searches for, collects and preserves stories from one of the most ordinary forms of popular media—the newspaper. Many local news articles and their accompanying photographs depict everyday mishaps endured by the common people: traffic jams, industrial accidents, governmental snafus, etc. These small disasters of urban life are generally regarded as trivial, without either political or historical significance, and are easily overlooked and forgotten. Yet Lin Tao believes they can act as reminders to his audience to pay closer attention to issues of social morality and the yearning for a better life. He reverses the tendency to trivialise these stories by transforming images from news photos into intricate, opulent works using complex, natural materials and techniques that have a long history: mother-of-pearl inlay and natural lacquer.Read More
Traditionally, lacquer art featuring mother-of-pearl inlay is decorative and eye-catching, but Lin Tao takes this technique to a unique extreme, creating works in which the mother-of-pearl inlay covers the entire lacquer surface, so that the images are almost overwhelmed by, and even absorbed into, the opulent sheens of the inlay and the aesthetic beauty of the form. Yet the ultimate effect is to give the original mundane news images a more powerful, vital form, so that they now seek to burst out from the picture frame and completely captivate our attention.
Text courtesy Hanart TZ Gallery.
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