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Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ Ocula Conversation Cinga Samson: ‘a different conversation on representation’ Jareh Das

Cinga Samson 's paintings lay bare the complex relationship between contemporary life, African traditions, globalisation, and representation. His strikingly sombre portraits contain similarities to those of contemporary painters such as Toyin Ojih Odutola, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye , Kehinde Wiley , Florine Démosthène, and Tunji...

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Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements Ocula Report Dhaka Art Summit 2020: Seismic Movements Radha Mahendru, Dhaka

Seismic Movements , the fifth Dhaka Art Summit, plotted movements, solidarities, and exchanges across the Global South with over 500 artists, scholars, curators, and thinkers.

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Guo Hongwei on Seeing Patterns That Don’t Exist Ocula Insight Guo Hongwei on Seeing Patterns That Don’t Exist Sherry Paik, New York

Guo Hongwei's recent watercolour paintings, showing at Chambers Fine Art in New York from 3 March, trigger pareidolia—the phenomenon of seeing random objects or patterns where they do not exist.

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HomePage Artists

b. 1964, Japan

Michael Lin Biography

Michael Lin (林明弘) is a multi-disciplinary artist known for his large-scale installations and iconic floral motif. Having gained recognition in the 1990s for his immersive approach to exhibitions, Lin’s artworks generally embody a tongue-in-cheek commentary on contemporary cultures of commercialisation and commodification.

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The most recognisable element of his work is the recurring appearance of floral patterns, inspired by Taiwanese textile design from the 1960s, which Lin associates with the social and political atmosphere of the country. The patterns usually appear as murals painted directly onto architectural surfaces, or painted on materials such as wood or metal. Variations of the pattern have enveloped gallery interiors, museum façades (such as the exterior of the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2010) and daily objects such as furniture and tableware, challenging traditional notions of painting and its function. In Lin’s installations, painting ceases to be a passive receiver of the viewer’s gaze and instead occupies the space of the viewer.

Recurrent themes of nostalgia, personal history and collective memory are embedded in Lin’s work.  For the exhibition What Difference a Day Made (2008) at the Shanghai Gallery of Art, Lin reconstructed a local Shanghainese store inside the gallery space. He painstakingly catalogued the objects found in the actual store and displayed them in crates as if precious artefacts; these mundane domestic objects served as vehicles of counter-amnesia in the face of rapid urbanisation in Shanghai.

For his 2012 solo exhibition Model Home: A Proposition by Michael Lin at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, Lin transgressed the boundaries of exhibition space by hiring labourers who lived on-site while installing the wall painting for the exhibition. He also challenged the notions of authorship and institutional authority by inviting other entities, such as architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow and video artist Cheng Ran, to collaborate on the project. Alongside music, film and performance, the exhibition consisted of the workers’ shacks, paintings of folk patterns derived from the workers’ blankets, and a street-style canteen.

Lin also challenges and transforms the status of objects through acts of appropriation and dislocation. This was exemplified in his 2016 solo exhibition Michael Lin: Locomotion at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila. For the show, he asked pedicab drivers in Manila to replace the tarp hood of their vehicles with his printed floral design, and displayed patchwork banners made out of the original tarps in the museum. The same floral pattern also covered the museum’s interior surfaces in an uninterrupted flow, across multi-textured surfaces in drawing, painting and print.

In 2017, Lin produced a site-specific work for the exhibition Enjoy at the Chiostro del Bramante. Produced in collaboration with students from various art institutes in Rome, the 188-square-metre floor mural transformed the Renaissance courtyard into a symbolic flower garden.

Lin earned a BFA at the Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (1990) and completed his MFA at the ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena (1993). In addition to the Rockbund Art Museum, he has had solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2017); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2005); MoMA PS1, New York (2004); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003) and more. He has participated in multiple biennials including the Lyon Biennial (2009), Gwangju Biennale (2002), Liverpool Biennial (2002), Istanbul Biennial (2001) and the Taiwan Pavilion of the 49th Venice Biennial (2001). Public collections that house Lin’s artwork include the Rockbund Art Museum; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung; and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, among many others.

Shormi Ahmed | Ocula | 2019

Michael Lin Featured Artworks

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Forever Shanghai by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinForever Shanghai, 2016Gold leaf and acrylic on wall
Galería OMR Enquire about this work
Untitled 無題 by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinUntitled 無題, 2018Mixed media
350 x 720 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled 無題 by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinUntitled 無題, 2018Mixed media
330 x 732 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled (15.12.10) 無題 (15.12.10) by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinUntitled (15.12.10) 無題 (15.12.10), 2010Acrylic on canvas
70 x 70 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled (01.12.10) 無題 (01.12.10) by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinUntitled (01.12.10) 無題 (01.12.10), 2010Acrylic on canvas
70 x 70 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
Unlimited 無限 by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinUnlimited 無限, 2012Acrylic on canvas
170 x 170 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
FUCSIA FLUOR EX0140603M by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael LinFUCSIA FLUOR EX0140603M, 2018Mixed media
195 x 135 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work
13585774162 (Study) by Michael Lin contemporary artwork
Michael Lin13585774162 (Study), 2007Acrylic on paper
100 x 100 cm
Eslite Gallery Enquire about this work

Michael Lin Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Who Writes? at Galería OMR, Mexico City
Closed
6 September–2 November 2019 Group Exhibition Who Writes? Galería OMR, Mexico City
Contemporary art exhibition, Michael Lin, Beat Streuli, One Plus One 壹加壹 at Eslite Gallery, Taipei
Closed
3–25 November 2018 Michael Lin, Beat Streuli One Plus One 壹加壹 Eslite Gallery, Taipei
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Brilliant City at David Zwirner, Hong Kong
Closed
6 July–4 August 2018 Group Exhibition Brilliant City David Zwirner, Hong Kong

Michael Lin Represented By

Michael Lin In Related Press

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LOCOMOTION MICHAEL LIN Related Press LOCOMOTION MICHAEL LIN 1 May 2016, ArtAsiaPacific

Bright flowers, bike peddlers and brash flagpoles come together in a playful and interactive show by Michael Lin, set in the stunning space of Manila's Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD). Curated by MCAD director Joselina Cruz, Locomotion is a visual journey that involves exchanges between the museum and its surrounding neighborhood.

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Michael Lin: 'A Tale of Today' Related Press Michael Lin: 'A Tale of Today' 18 April 2016, Ran Dian

At Leo Xu Projects, the artist Michael Lin’s most favored themes—inquiries into notions of hometown and elsewhere, dialogues between works of art and architecture, and his own particular critiques of consumerist society—were condensed within the exquisite layout of an old Shanghai villa. From the living room walls to the corner of...

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Model Home 2013 by Michael Lin and Atelier Bow-Wow with Andrew Barrie Related Press Model Home 2013 by Michael Lin and Atelier Bow-Wow with Andrew Barrie 29 August 2013, dezeen

Architectural drawings of a small workers' shack that featured in an exhibition in Shanghai, China, have been enlarged and used to create a full-scale replica in Auckland, New Zealand. Tokyo architects Atelier Bow-Wow collaborated with Japanese artist Michael Lin on the design of the original structure, which was based on the workers' shacks...

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MICHAEL LIN at Eslite Gallery Taiwan Related Press MICHAEL LIN at Eslite Gallery Taiwan 1 May 2013, David Frazier

It is surprising how seldom the work of Michael Lin has been compared to that of the Pop artists of the 1960s. Yet one can surmise why Lin, who was born in Tokyo, raised in Taiwan and educated in the United States, and whose career took off in the late 1990s, has avoided the label.

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Michael Lin In Video & Audio

5th Auckland Triennial: Michael Lin and Andrew Barrie @ Auckland Art Gallery Related Video & Audio 5th Auckland Triennial: Michael Lin and Andrew Barrie @ Auckland Art Gallery 3 July 2013, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Artist Michael Lin and Professor Andrew Barrie talk about Model Home (2013), on display in the Auckland Art Gallery as part of the 5th Auckland Triennial.

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Michael Lin Related Video & Audio Michael Lin 9 February 2012, Michael Lin

Many years ago, as political protest and dissent shook his native Taiwan, artist Michael Lin made a conscious decision to turn inward for inspiration. The vicissitudes of domestic life—rather than the political currents shaping the public sphere—gave way to what have become Lin's signature flower motifs. Using the patterns and shapes...

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