Selected Works
Artist Bio




b.1964  Guangzhou, China


Lin Yilin, who majored in sculpture at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s, is known for his interdisciplinary approach to his projects. The artist is recognized for a practice that embraces sculpture, installation, photography to live action and video featuring outdoor performances. Lin’s conceptual practices have always been an energetic and witty mingling of social architecture and everyday life. In one of his early and well-known public performances, “Safely Maneuvering Across Linhe Road” (1995), he moved a wall across a busy road in Guangzhou by building and dismantling it brick by brick. The performance video, shown at Documenta XII in Kassel in 2007, is part of a body of performance works directly intervening in the public sphere in Guangzhou. It was realized with the Big Tail Elephant Working Group, an artists group notable for a critical artistic practice in Guangdong Province. Lin co-founded the group in 1990, together with Xu Tan, Chen Shaoxiong and the late Liang Juhui.


Born 1964 in Guangzhou, China, Lin Yilin currently lives and works between Beijing, China and New York, U.S.A. He has been included in the 50th Venice Biennale, 2003, 1st and 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, 2002 and 2005, Documenta 12, 2007, 10th Biennale de Lyon, 2009 as well as exhibitions at the Asia Society, New York; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; and Today Art Museum, Beijing etc.​


Whose Land? Whose Art?

Lin Yilin

12.15, 2010 - 1.15, 2011

Bangkok / Chiengmai


Lin Yilin

11.29, 2008 - 1.4, 2009


Press / News

Richard Vine | Beyong the Wall

In an exhibition at two sites in Thailand, Chinese artist Lin Yilin challenged the legitimacy of all official barriers.


SOMETHING THERE IS that doesn't love a wall, /That wants it down, "Robert Frost famously wrote. That implicit urge runs as a motif through the work of Chinese performance and installation artist Lin Yilin. Born in 1964,  Lin emerged as a member of the Big-Tailed Elephant group in his native Guangzhou. The four artists—all graduates of the art academy in that southern metropolis, anchor of the then rapidly industrializing Pearl River Delta—gained critical notice with self-curated activities, such as the 1994 "No Room" exhibition in a deserted house, designed to comment on China's frenetic urban transformations. (This occurred during the same period that Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming and other experimental artists, first daring to go semipublic again after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crack-down, were staging their guerrilla events in Beijing's East Village.) ...

Chen Tong | Fishing

Today, works that are called “projects” or “plans” often emphasize their contemporaneity by employing the display of a comprehensive process, one that might include the reasoning behind, prerequisites to, or project proposals, materials, views, documentations and dialogues, all which are subsequently collected into a book that represents the same process. It’s not hard to see how, through such a process, fashionable sociological rhetoric surpasses the name of aesthetics, and becomes latent to the character and the significance of works, ultimately limiting the scope of discussion.


Superficially at least, the two scenes in “Whose Land? Whose Art?” realized at just about the same time, and implemented not too far away from each other, also seem to belong to the standard model outlined above, especially in light of Lin Yilin’s inclusion of actual facts into one of the scenes...

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