Meiya Lin

LEE : Did you remember any good time studying in the Netherlands?
LIN : The concept of Sandberg Institute of Amsterdam, where I got my master degree in visual art department, was more keening on encouraging students to think and act as a professional artist during the education. Learn from the actual cooperating projects. I remembered they were organizing a lot of events and inviting curators and galleries to visit us in the studio, it’s very practical for me that it became clear of what is the roll of being an artist and how to work it out with others in art projects.

LEE :Were there any interesting events in the early 2000s when you started Art Work?
LIN : The CEAC (artist residency organization) was founded 1999 in Xiamen, and I was working as a part- time assistant for the residency artists. Back to 2002 it was the time that I studied fine arts in the art College of Xiamen University. Facing a struggle to break through after more than 10 years of ossified oil painting training. I could recall one performance from a Dutch artist Femke Schaap who performed in the opening with one old suitcase, 10kilograms of potato, a red lipstick and bag of cigarette. I helped her finding all the materials with no clue of what she would have planed to do, and then seeing her combining those objects into one full-context presentation is a certainly a inspiring contemporary impact. Bit like the circus actor standing on the string, First thing to do is to find out where it is. The experiences of working with European contemporary artists are certainly an extraordinary impact and further on help me to lay down the path for my artistic pursue.

LEE : The feeling of the early works is very extraordinary and powerful. Has your experience of moving from China to the Netherlands affected you?
LIN : It seems maybe different but it’s a continual phase. I’d prefer to observe the phenomenon by avoiding a simple judgement of right or wrong. Sometimes the work seems powerful by taking an advantage of the criticising subject, or interpreted criticising subjects. As for me I think all the ready-made social in frastructures are incredibly impassive, it’s a balanced status of things that cause by the various intertwined ideology. It’s changed and shaped by who have looked at them from different perspective by time to time. Make visible a form of the similarities in cultures it is what it does interest me. And it only represents what I am from that point of view.

LEE :  < The times are summoning > refers to Chinese society and education. 
What is China's communist education? And what does this mean to the Chinese and you?
LIN : The communist education system is an exam-oriented education system. Instead of stimulate the students’ initiative to learn, adopt a cramming method of teaching, just simply dictated information and answers. It’s certainly effective. We’re trained to be extremely practical and pragmatic. ‘The times are summoning’ is a reflection to such scenario as the educational embarrassment. The young generation is playing along with the instructions even though it might means nothing to them. It shows the petty smart of ordinary people.

LEE : The term " Chinese capitalism " is often used by the media. I thought practical training was probably a closer way to my community. We find the most reasonable approach to the outcome through division of labor.
LIN : It’s too big subject what you asked. In short, what we so call China-style communism would be rather complicate to compare with any other kind of system, in my opinion it doesn’t refers to neither an adopted duplicated version nor a variation of inherit of the western capitalism. The political system (centralization and democracy), the economic infrastructure (planned economy versa market economy) is completely different. We don't encourage ourselves to seek the outcome through divisiveness; maybe you have heard the most common what Chinese government would remark is ‘remain stability’. China remains his planned economic mind while handling gigantic amount of capital input. And ‘wade across the stream by feeling the way’ would have been the curial philosophic background of China- style communism. If you’re interest in the topic, maybe you could start with the ‘sharing bike’ projects in most Chinese cities. It represents a certain notion of how the capital enrolls in a communist infrastructure.

LEE : Your sense of problem with Chinese society is more apparent in < Emigrant Serial No 1, No 2 >
LIN : I won't consider to indicate the works as an act of exposure to the 'problem'. And I won't identify the 'group' as 'trouble' as well. The definition of 'problem' often comes from the political interpretation. I think they could be a 'problem' to the government or even to themselves. but they do belong to the chain of the social infrastructure. The reality there is more complex and obscure. In the works of E1 and 2 I was not capable to discuss this particular subject, but to reproduce the phenomena. E1 was trying to peep on their piece of mind, indicating how the 'free will', whether they have one or not, as an psychological suggestion was generates and further more awaken their desire. E2, The serial of instructions were meant to stimulate the group as the ecological medium of the society. Discussing the motivation in the act of emigration.

LEE : < Emigrant Serial No1 > has a strong feeling of graphic image work, But, < Emigrant Serial In No2 >, you went directly into reality and developed your work.

LIN :  No.1 and No.2 have time difference of one year. At first I was obscure fascinated by the ecological appearance of these typical social class. It seems to me that their existence plainly expressing a certain psychotropic imaginary of the recession society. Therefore in the No.1 I was more focusing on them as fundamental materials of collectivization. definition throughout how they react on the instructions, The way how they look, what they dress, how they stand, squat, and walk. How they hold the cigarette, how they humph... while No.2 is more like a political experience, dismantling them as individual by restructure their function in society.

LEE : How do you see China as a group in < Lost Paradise >? The title " Lost paradise " feels very pessimistic.
LIN : An abstract imaginary of communist dreamland. In the video, I created a digital equivalent of the song, which extols the beauty of the landscape and the wonders of the outdoor life in the Great Motherland. This hymn to health, happiness and a beautiful future loses all of its energy in the artificial landscape, in which a post-utopian Adam and Eve apathetically rock backwards and forwards, Detaching recipients from a familiar, ideologically charged environment.

LEE : From 2016, digital images like < Attraction > are often seen in Work. Is there any special reason to bring virtual reality to work?
LIN : 
In 2012, apart from another project "Mirage City", I was carrying out some extended research about the Attraction Park. Inspired by the interaction between the scenes of a world that mixes false and real. The enclave of the choice of false elements represents a complete chain of duplicating production, it simulate the simulation of a scene in order to convince the authenticity of tourists. The contradiction of this theory is to reflect this false as true. Therefore, the Attraction Park series is to duplicate the simulation scenarios of the real Attraction Park in a virtual reality environment, squeezing in the choice of a series of man-made production from the reality.

LEE :< Make sense > is impressive in China's local scenery. What did you do when you traveled directly to China?

LIN : Last year I was invited to make a round trip in north China and further on to carry out an art works about the forth/fifth tier city along with the countryside of China. Focusing on the 'human made - left' landscape which I would say the shape of natural in China at the moment. The making sense serial were being made under the concept of distinguish the real nature apart from the artificial by interpreting the simulation itself into a fake reality.

LEE : I need to explain specifically about human made-left.
LIN : 
It’s a notion of us, interfering the nature. I’ll show you two images helping you understand.

LIN : It’s an image of the observatory platform in MianShan Attraction Park. Its appearance was originally inspired and further duplicated by the real mountain while inside was fully equipped with elevator, air-conditioning and etc.

LIN : Second is an image of the Water conservancy project from a fourth tier city in Shanxi province. The local government was granted with huge budget to execute this project and as what the outcome turns out to be an abandon infrastructure which only the miles of decorating stones leading to the city center left in site while there is no concrete plan of getting the water in.

LEE : What are your plans for the future?
LIN : Working on a research about assembling the relations between the positive and negative space that immersed in the trivialized dissent of social media.