Lin Yilin: Art, My Way

I like doing things that I’m not sure I can pull off—whether it’s because of my body or my ability.

Lin Yilin

Artist Lin Yilin was born in Guangzhou, where he co-founded the influential artist collective the Big-Tail Elephant Group in 1990. Although he now lives and works in New York, Guangzhou is very much a part of him. In his 2019 work Typhoon, Lin, dressed in white pyjamas, walks slowly on metal stilts down a Guangzhou street in the middle of the night. He walks through the arcades in front of the street-level shops attached to Guangzhou’s distinctive colonial-era buildings. Having grown up among this nineteenth-century architecture, Lin laments its demolition in the latest round of urban renewal. Evoking a surreal feeling of walking above the ground, the work reflects the helplessness of the individual against the tide of urban development.

The work was commissioned for the Sigg Prize 2019 Exhibition, where it was exhibited alongside two other works by Lin, The Second 1/3 Monad and The Back. Lin’s conceptual practice brings together sculpture, installation, photography, performances, and video, commingling social architecture with everyday life.


Image at top: Lin Yilin, Typhoon, 2019. Single-channel video (colour, sound). Commissioned by M+, Hong Kong. Courtesy of the artist

Video Credits

Produced by M+
Producer: Adam Studios
Curatorial Research: Pi Li, Isabella Tam, Ariadne Long, Kary Woo
M+ Video Production: Chris Sullivan, Jaye Yau, Angel Ng