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Some Basic Content

Hu Fang

Basic Starting Points 

This is not an article intended to make thinking about an artist’s work any easier. Of course, words should never serve to make people feel more remote from an artist and his works; but at best an article can create another path for understanding an artist.

This article begins from a universal reality that we can all understand: life drives a person to choose art, he then becomes what people call an “artist", but as for what this identity means to him, he himself must answer. Particularly in a moment when the myth of the artist in this great nation has been repeatedly broken, and most recently, since its grandeur cannot be restored, for a person to decide to become an artist, he must decide to take on a great number of questions, and these questions cannot easily shirk the burden of addressing political power and the nation.

Born in the 1960s, Lin Yilin experienced the Cultural Revolution, the economic reforms of the 1980s, and the commercial flurry of the 1990s before moving to New York at the dawn of the new century. “Transition” has become a way of life for him, as he looks constantly for his own “I” amidst so many sightlines, and constantly raises his own answers. Western Conceptualism and Minimalism were once an important source of inspiration for Lin Yilin (and an entire generation), allowing this generation not only to free its hands,  but  to  free  itself  from  conceptualism  itself.  This  does  not  imply  any sort of  answer to China’s


© lin yilin 2018

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