Michael Lin: Locomotion


Exhibition run: 18 February – 29 May 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD)

GF De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts Campus,

Dominga Street, Malate, Manila, Philippines

Michael Lin: Locomotion was the artist’s first solo presentation in the Philippines. Internationally known for creating monumental site-specific painted installations, Lin’s interventions redesign and reconfigure public spaces, dynamically transforming the way they are perceived by the public. A number of his previous projects have re-envisioned unusual sites for display, including a bookstore, tennis court, community hall, and atrium, among others. His aversion to the standard white box setting is a testament that his practice does not merely produce paintings on a flat canvas or as objects. Rather, Lin activates public spaces with specific colors and ornamental patterns while keeping faithful to its contextual purpose and architectural integrity. He thus seeks to eliminate the distance between the viewer and a painting, away from an object of contemplation and toward one as an unbounded, interactive and inhabitable space. Created especially for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila, Lin enveloped the walls of the galleries with an uninterrupted and fluid floral arrangement. Using his signature decorative patterns based on traditional Taiwanese textiles, Lin’s exploration of ornaments and their motifs underscores the artist’s interest in the histories of these designs, especially as it pertains to associations from his childhood and domesticity of everyday life. The imagery adapts and flows on top, through, or in between the nooks and corners of the building, transitioning into different forms—from painting, to drawing, to print—unyielding by the structure’s unique characteristics and multi-textured surfaces.
The subject of the everyday is also an integral source of inspiration to Lin’s work. For Michael Lin: Locomotion, Lin sourced inspiration from Manila’s urban landscape and produces an exchange with pedicab drivers. An avid cyclist, Lin’s interest in inclusive mobility in densely and over populated cities drew his attention to the pedicab—this country’s second most ubiquitous mode of transportation next to the jeepney—and in particular toward the iconography of their cover design, reading them as an emblem belonging to a homegrown subculture of folk art. Selected pedicabs adorn the same pattern as the interior walls of the museum thereby metaphorically and physically extending the galleries out into the community and likewise bridging a specific component of our daily life inside the building.

The exhibition was sponsored by Pacific Paints Philippines Inc with support from Bellas Artes Projects.

About the artist

Lin was born in Tokyo and spent his formative years in Los Angeles and Taiwan. His work has been exhibited in major institutions and international Biennials around the world, including the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (2015); Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2012); Towada Art Center, Aomori, Japan (2011); Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2010); Lyon Biennial, France (2009); Guangzhou Triennial, China (20050; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2003); Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2001); and Venice Biennial, Italy (2001), among many others. He completed an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California USA. Lin lives and works between Shanghai, Taipei, and Brussels.

Free downloadable content from this exhibition available here.