Artist Michael Lin is unafraid to shake up traditional art methods, and a key focus lately has been using them in collaboration with craftsmen from a range of disciplines. Currently based in Shanghai, the artist spent much of his early life in California — born in Japan and raised in Taiwan until age 8, he didn't return to China until after finishing graduate school in 1993, when he moved back to Taiwan to start his own art practice.
Since then, Lin’s work has been gaining international exposure, with commissioned work in public spaces around the world, and participation in major museum shows and biennales; signature themes include floral prints derived from traditional Taiwanese textiles. His mixed-media installation “What a Difference a Day Made,” on view at the Shanghai Gallery of Art in 2008, examined the significance of everyday life through daily goods like brooms, washing basins, and clothes hangers purchased from a local thrift store.
His latest project, “Model Home – A Proposition by Michael Lin,” which showed at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, was a multifaceted exploration of the process of contemporary art production as well as the expansion of our urban landscape. Through the work, Lin incorporated migrant workers’ “untrained hands” into his own art practice by asking them to paint the inside of the museum space. As an interesting interaction, he collaborated with professional architects to design a “temporary home” for the workers to live in.
He recently invited ARTINFO to his studio for a look at some projects in the making.