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ARTIST LIEN-CHEN LIN OPENS EXHIBITION, 'WETLAND', AT GALLERY 456 IN NYC
May 29, 2004 (NEW YORK, NY) - Gallery 456 is proud to announce the opening of NYC-based artist Lien-Chen Lin's first solo exhibition, Wetland. The show runs from June 4 to July 1, 2004, with an opening reception on Friday, June 4, 6 - 8 PM. Wetland includes work in several media: painting, drawing, snapshot, sculpture, a soundtrack and the installation of live objects. Ms. Lin, originally from Taiwan, has a M.A. in Art and Environmental Art from NYU and was featured at the Orensanz Foundation Award's exhibition, "The Art of Deconstruction."
Intrigued by the Taoist phrase, "all the fish needs is to get lost in the water" Lin set about to get lost in ideas of her own. Wetland attempts to show the artist's belief that the protection and preservation of natural resources and the idea of multiculturalism is more often stronger in attitude than actual actions or policy. Her installation sets out to find the reality in fantasy -and the fantasy in reality- of these concepts.
Audiences will notice upon entering the gallery, the "Germination Laboratory": dozens of test tubes suspended from the ceiling, containing more than 10 varieties of beans, peas and water samples from around the world. The biological and philosophical definition of "pollination" and fertilization are literally put up in the air to question. Here, "Pioneer on Mars?" shows NASA's attempts to grow a favorite human food, the pea, in a low-pressure environment. This is juxtaposed with, "Erotic Invader" a picture of the porcelainberry, a plant on the U.S.'s list of dangerous "Alien" plants. For Lin, from Asia, where the berry is common, it is unsettling to see U.S. scientists bringing peas to Mars - and placing a homeland plant on a list of plants to be destroyed.
Audiences moving about the gallery will hear a constant soundtrack, "Come and Go", a recording of the artist urinating, followed by drinking water, every morning for a week. This cycle of water running in and out of the human body represents "wetland": here, the body is absent in order to call the viewer's attention to the "land": Lin hopes to create a feeling of intimacy in a public zoo. Nearby, a cast footprint of walking boots examines how people often carry seeds from place to place without knowing.
The theme of being a young Asian woman living in America runs throughout Wetlands. A series of paintings, T05, follows the black-faced spoonbill, an endangered migratory bird from North Korea, that fly to Taiwan every winter. The bird is from Lin's native Taiwan, but so rare that she has never actually seen one. The paintings contain captions that create imaginary conversations with the bird: are you flying back to Chichu for the winter? muses one. Lin views the birds from afar, just as a woman from Taiwan, she is viewed only as an outsider, exotic -"you don't hear much about Thai women's hearts and minds, living here," the artist says. Many of the spoonbills are labeled with tracking rings (the T in t05 denotes Taiwan), and these paintings are on the other side of 7 snapshots of the artist wearing a jade ring: a traditional symbol of class structure for Chinese and Taiwan women, another "label" we humans give ourselves.
Wetland runs from June 4 thru July 1 at Gallery 456. The gallery was established by the Chinese-American Arts Council in 1989 as the only nonprofit, Asian-owned art gallery in SOHO, offering Asian culture to the general public at minimal cost. This exhibition is free and open to the public; the gallery's hours are Mon. - Fri., noon-5 PM. Gallery 456 is located at 456 Broadway, 3rd Floor (near the Grand Street N, R or 6 Subway, near Canal St.) For more info, call (212) 431-9740 or visit: www.gallery456.org.
Find out more about Lien-Chen Lin and Wetland at www.solobird.com/wetland/