© linyilin 2018


2003, 200x120x200cm, video, brick, iron

In the early 1990s, Lin began using brick – the basic building block of the city – as the principal element in his performances. Six of these performances are shown in Hotbed as video documentations. In 100 pieces and 1000 pieces and The Result of 1000 pieces, the artist challenges the audience to rethink the value of money, its social function, and our attitudes towards it. In 1995, Lin performed his groundbreaking work, Safely Maneuvering across Lin He Road. During this performance, Lin moved a wall, brick by brick, across one of the busiest streets in Guangzhou. Aside from causing a serious disruption to the traffic, the performance captured the profound changes that are driven by urbanization. Building on the knowledge gained from Safely Maneuvering across Lin He Road, Lin adapted the work to articulate a critical moment in Hong Kong’s history. Executed in 1996, Drive Shaft captured the anxiety caused by looming social and political changes one year prior to Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997. After moving to the United States in 2001, Lin created two works to highlight the cultural differences he experienced between China and America. My Imagination of Great Nation examines the idea of sports – particularly the Olympic Games – as an instrument of the construction of national identity. A Kind of Machine Called “Liberation” demonstrates the dilemma between the cost of wars and advancing ideologies.


As a pioneer who addressed the issues of urbanization throughout the 1990s, Lin was invited by Hou Hanru to participate in the Canton Express in 2003. Lin selected the aforementioned six performances and turned them into a single video installation. The title Hotbed refers to the social atmosphere in southern China as the budding socialist market economy – influenced by capitalism – led to materialistic aspirations and urban blight.