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Lin Yilin

Lin Yilin (born 1964, China)

Safely Maneuvering Across Lin He Road, 1995

Single channel video, sound, 36 minutes, 45 seconds

Asia Society, New York: Promised Gift of Harold and Ruth Newman.

Since the mid 1980s, Lin Yilin has been at the center of China’s avant-garde art movement. In 1990, along with Chen Shaoxiong and Liang Juhui, Lin was a founding member of Big Tail Elephant Group, a progressive performance and installation art group based in Guangzhou, China, which was later joined by Xu Tan. He frequently uses the motif of a brick wall to address the issue of rapid urbanization, and the danger and tension that result from it. Safely Maneuvering Across Lin He Road is a video recording of a performance by Lin that highlights the futile, and quite dangerous, act of moving a wall, brick by brick, across a highly trafficked main street in Guangzhou. Moving at a snail’s pace, the process took hours to complete and seems to be in sharp contrast with the rapid building construction and demolition taking place around him.

Lin Yilin was born in Guangzhou, China, in 1964, and now lives and works in New York and Beijing. He is internationally recognized for his performances using concrete bricks, generally called “wall projects.” Lin has participated in numerous international exhibitions including “Cities on the Move” (1997); the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1997); the 1st Taipei Biennial (1998); the 4th Gwangju Biennale (2002); the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Documenta 12 (2007); and the 10th Lyon Biennale (2009). His works have been shown in the Kunsthalle Bern; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Hayward Gallery, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, among other renowned institutions.

Selected Bibliography

Obrist, Hans-Ulrich. The China Interviews. Hong Kong and Beijing: Office for Discourse Engineering, 2009.

Sans, Jerome. China Talks. Beijing: Timezone 8, 2009.

Vine, Richard. New China New Art. New York: Prestel, 2008.

Erickson, Britta. China Onward. Humlebæk, Denmark: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2007.

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