© linyilin 2018

«Target», or, every narrative is an endless draft – radical and particular

Martina Köppel-Yang

“If it is true that every present creates its proper past, then a particular past can only be understood in relation to a specific present. The actual evidences of the past are impregnated by the present – through what is kept apparent and through what is forgotten or erased. The structural concept of the past is constructed from the perspective of the present: it is the structure of the present that defines that of the past.” [1]

Standards defining our lives, images and symbols conditioning our personality, and narratives building history and identity are central subjects in Lin Yilin’s oeuvre. “Standard Series of Ideal Residence” (1991), one of his first major works, and “Household Goods” (1992) already question the structures that condition our environment and our habits. Brick-walls delineating or objects animating space are inserted in metal structures – eloquent metaphors of Lin’s distrust in given configurations and set outlines.

“Target” is the title of Lin Yilin’s first solo show at Tang Contemporary and in Beijing. Here the artist brings together four works in different media – two videos, one large sculpture and one oil painting, representing historical figures and events, as well as the gigantic figure of a model hero – the artist himself – to reflect on those images and myths haunting and conditioning collective consciousness and memory.

“It’s a strength like no other, it is physical strength and it is an emotional strength” [2]