Lin Yan: Gateway 林延：门道
For Fou Gallery’s new exhibition Lin Yan: Gateway, Lin creates a total environment with ink and Xuan paper (Xuanzhi, or rice paper), representing the architectural elements of the early 20th century brownstone apartment of the gallery. Lin molds the architectural features out of ink and Xuan paper in the parlor room such as foliated moldings surrounding the windows, an embellished radiator, a hollowed-out fireplace, ornamental details of the ceiling, and a double door––the gateway to the gallery. Sculpted paper paintings will be installed in juxtaposition with this portal and the space’s windows. Negative spaces enclosed in these crafted paper become filled with spirituality awakened by natural and artificial lights. Lin changes our relationships with ordinary objects and enriches our everyday realities with art.
Casted from the double door––the gateway to the gallery, Gateway is the central piece of the exhibition. In August 2017, Lin Yan came to the gallery to mold the gate with Xuan paper of different layers and textures. The work is installed in juxtaposition with the real gate. In Chinese proverbs, the word “gateway” refers to approaches and procedures for accomplishing a mission, usually indicating wisdoms learned from everyday experience. Various English versions of Tao Te Ching (D. C. Lau, 1963; Tam C. Gibbs, 1981; John R. Leebrick, 1980) use the word “gateway” to indicate the pathway of the Essential and the approach to all indescribable marvels. Similarly, Lin’s art is rooted in her encounters with daily life, but transcends the reality with multiple layers of interpretation, including respect towards traditional culture, the mourning of cultural breakage, concern about environmental devastation, and the response to drastic social changes. Combining the physical texture of the gate and the abstract vision of the pathway, Lin encompasses a gateway of the wonderful essence in arts and life.
用Parlor Room的大门拓印而成，《门道》是本次展览的核心作品。用不同的手工纸做成的大门，与真实的大门并置在一起，一实一虚，将展厅自然地分割出来。中国传统俗语里的“门道”指做事的门路和方法，通常是从日常生活经验中总结而来。英文标题（Gateway）则来自不同英文版本的《道德经》（D. C. Lau, 1963; Tam C. Gibbs, 1981; John R. Leebrick, 1980），表明通往未知玄妙的门径。与此相同，林延的作品来自于对日常生活的深刻关注，而又释放出包罗万象的意蕴，既有对传统文化的追思，对文化断裂的伤痛，对环境污染的担忧，对经济社会转型的关注，又有对极简主义、建筑美学、正负空间、阴阳哲学的探索。门和道，一为实，一为虚，而林延将两者结合起来，在生活和艺术之中寻找智慧之路。
Borrowed Scene 取景，2017
Borrowed Scene is molded from the window decorations of this brownstone building, hanging between two floor-to-ceiling ambries. The title is inspired by “borrowed scenery” - the principle of "incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden" found in traditional East Asian garden design. This could mean using scenes outside the garden, such as a view of distant mountains or the trees in the neighboring garden, to create the illusion that garden was much bigger than it was.
Jetlag and Temperature Difference 时差与温差, 2017
Jetlag and Temperature Difference are created with two vintage radiators at Fou Gallery. Temperature Difference is connected to the large radiator by a light tube while Jetlag molds the architectural elements out of the top of a small radiator which has seven grids symbolizing seven days. When installing for the exhibition, Lin Yan uses 12 black lines and nails to link the Jetlag with the railing of the spiral staircase, just like 12 hours. As a world citizen, Lin Yan often travels and exhibits around the world, jetlag is a common condition of her life.
静吟 Silent Song, 2014-2017
Silent Song is 4-meter long, dangling from carved ceilings, and a portion of it is directly printed on the carved parts of the ceiling, making the building itself part of the work. The creation of Silent Song began in 2014. In 2014, Lin Yan created a site-specific work Fault for the exhibition "Double Vision: The Culture China Overseas Chinese Women’s Invitational Exhibition" in He Xiangning Art Museum. In the open corridor of the exhibition hall, a group of Xuan paper are stacked, folded, stretched and stamped with stumps of different thicknesses, while the other group of Xuan paper is stacked in layers to form an immersive installation that people can walk in. Part of Silent Song comes from Fault , Lin Yan also adds rubbing of stumps created in New York and Beijing.
Gateway 2 门道2 , 2017
Gateway 2 was created in a fireplace that is no longer in use. Layers of Xuan paper grow out of the the copper-plated ornamental fireplace screen.
Between Day and Night #1 日夜之间1, 2014-2017
Between Day and Night #1 was created for Lin Yan’s solo exhibition at Officina foundation in Brussels in 2015. The work is casted from the stumps of a fallen tree in the Sandy hurricane that swept New York in 2011. Officina is located in a private house, and Lin Yan created a series of works in response to the staircase, the study room and the dining room. Between Day and Night #1 is made with white Xuan paper, and created based on an interior window along the staircase. Between Day and Night #2 is all black.
In the current exhibition at Fou Gallery, Lin Yan revised the artwork and placed it next to the floor-to-ceiling windows with a handmade plexiglass frame so that the light could penetrate into. The centerpiece of the revised work is embedded in a circular mirror. When people watched into the center, they thought they can see the scenery outside the window, but instead they see themselves.
Carry On 继续 , 2016
Lin Yan graduated from The Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1984 and pursued further studies at L'École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1985. In 1993, she moved to New York and since then lives and works in New York. In 1994, Lin returned to Beijing. In order to respond to the demolition of Beijing’s historic buildings and districts, Lin began to cast, with paper, the partial objects of old buildings in Beijing, such as roof tiles and rivets, so as to crystalize her feelings for traditional culture in her works. Carry On was casted from the remnants of walls in the demolished historic courtyard alleys in Beijing. On the other side it features layers of black paper, with fragmented white paper growing out of it. Carry On hangs from the ceiling and invites the viewer to look at it from different perspectives.
Other Works 其他作品
The relationships between architecture and space and between humans and nature have been recurring themes in Lin’s artwork. Rapid modernization and globalization have homogenized cities in the world: towering skyscrapers have risen from the ground and gradually spread out from the center of the cities. At the same time, Lin sensitively searches for diverse cultural elements in cities, such as remnants of walls in the demolished historic courtyard alleys in Beijing, the wood block from Yangliuqing woodcut print, and pavement bricks carved with words and dates in the old districts of Brooklyn. Some of the small works in the exhibition feature various architectural details.
All the Best! 祝好！, 2016
Drizzling #4 细雨4， 2017
Sparse Dream in Brooklyn 疏梦-布鲁克林， 2015
Go 行， 2015
Return Home 3 回家3， 2015
Article | 文字: Echo He; Photograph | 图片: Eugene Neduv, Peichao Lin; Poster Design: Tianxing Wan