INTERVIEW ON THE CCAA
Ai Weiwei: Can you discuss particular some works to talk about your artistic development?
Lin Yilin: I think my first piece, done in 1991, was already quite mature and relates to the way in which I practice art. I usually spend a lot of time experimenting in the studio. These thoughts build upon my interest in art history.
I majored in sculpture at the Art Academy, and every time I did a class assignment regardless of whether it was drawing, a sketch, or making a clay sculpture, I always felt that it was very hard to control my hands. I usually got very excited for a moment, but it was difficult for me to preserve a calm attitude to do the assignment for a whole week. I did not possess the patience of a sculptor, but from my training I attained a feel for three-dimensional space, which is hard to gain from training in painting. This had an influence on my later installations, where spatial elements have had a large effect. In addition, there are obvious architectural elements present in my work; actually I had a great deal of interest in architecture as a student, so from the very beginning my work was linked to weight and physicality. But these formal elements are merely the outer shell of a work, I really don't like complex forms, or forms with complicated relationships.
I spend a lot of time thinking of the reasons for the existence of every piece of art. I remember the term "motivation" that was so popular in Chinese art criticism of the 1980's. I'm filled up with the phrase's