中文

Art Critic (4)

Miki Akiko
LIN Yilin is known for works made by stacking bricks. Originally trained as a sculptor, he later became interested in architecture and found brick walls an expressive means through which to explore the relationship between sculpture and architecture.
 
Part of the Big Tailed Elephant (meaning an elephant with lots of expenses), a group pursuing problems related to the high speed of change in Chinese cities, LIN has examined the relationship  between human beings and architecture, the materialization of the body, and the complex relationship between human beings and nature. From Guangzhou, the earliest region of China to be opened to the outside, LIN's work clearly reflects the problems caused by the ongoing transformation of the large southern cities, commercial prosperity, and the resulting chaos and disorder.
 
Among his wide variety of installations and performances, the most interesting was perhaps a performance in which the artist moved a wall from one side of a road to the other, one brick at a time. The performance took place during rush hour in one of the most crowded thoroughfares inGuangzhou and called attention to physical labor and exercise, time, and process. It caused traffic to stop, inconveniencing drivers whilst giving them a renewed awareness of their environment and illuminating the problem of the traffic jam, a new phenomenon in China. The movement of the wall, with its references to larger architectural structures, made people more conscious of the reality of their society and its incessant changes. LIN's action also referred to jaywalking, a practice common even on streets with heavy traffic and in defiance of the law, revealing the shortcomings of urban planning and failure of people's awareness to keep up with the rapid development of the city.
 
LIN constructed a wall for this exhibition in the outdoor sculpture yard using some 5,000 bricks and 1,000 bank notes. The rough stacking of the bricks and the hollowed space in the wall in the shape of a human body, subvert the wall's solidity and permanence. The work is thus an effective visualization of the possibilities of disintegration and transformation existing in any aggregation of individuals units, an inherent feature of architecture or human society.
 
LIN prefers familiar materials commonly found in everyday life. He uses water and money as well as brick, items essential to our lives and widely circulated or distributed in every community. In this installation, pieces of paper money are held in the cracks between the courses of brick, and viewers may feel the desire to steal. Some may actually try to dismantle the wall, in spite of the danger and take some of the money. If they do, they will be playing the artist's game since his intention is to make viewers see through their own actions, see how structures of society, culture, and tradition are broken down by the desire to make money.                     

 

 

1998 Taipei Biennialcatalogue, P.63