LinYan, born to a distinguished family of artists, grew up in Beijing and left China in 1985 before China’s modernization. She followed her grandfather and mother’s footsteps to Paris continuing her studies in art and came to United States in 1986. Her first solo show “Tai Chi in Painting” at her graduate school in Pennsylvania infused Chinese philosophy into her own “constructing paintings.”
In 1993, she moved to New York with her painter husband and their young son. Taoist thought remain in her life and art. She seeks the simplest possible use of elements in her work. Though her forms are quite minimal and mostly quiet, they are filled with complex impulses and nuances. The foundation of LinYan’s large sculptural paper collage is a variety of hand-made paper which has been used for Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy. The crumbled layers of soft handmade papers with ink create a paradoxical affect of strong, post-industrial feeling. Inspired by old Beijing architecture in her memory and industrial elements in her Brooklyn home, LinYan blur boundaries, embrace conflict, bring histories, past and present together. Aware of the struggle and resistance in the world, she balances this restlessness with the tranquility of her materials. Her images investigate the interrelation of Chinese traditional painting and modernist abstraction, and postmodern appropriation and ancient technical rigor.
LinYan’s works have been widely shown in the galleries and museums, included in recent exhibitions at Museum of Chinese American in America in New York, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, Dresden State Art Collections in Germany, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum in China; reviewed and featured in New York Times, Art News, Art in America, Art Asia Pacific, Architecture and Art, Elle China, Women of China, World Journal and CCTV, among others. Her works are in public collection of the National Art Museum of China, the Pang Xunqin Museum, the Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Art in China and Deutsche Bank Art.