Michael Lin

October 2020–ongoing

Michael Lin’s unconventional paintings invite visitors to position themselves within an artwork and to reconsider their perception of the space around them. His works take their inspiration from everyday fabrics—pillows, blankets, and other domestic textiles. The juxtaposition of Lin’s florals against stark, institutional architecture—especially at MOCA, a former auto factory—creates spaces that feel both softer and more tranquil. The motifs included in this installation come from Taiwanese, Indonesian, and Hawaiian-inspired textiles.

Archipelago at MOCA offers a meditation on realities that emerged in 2020. In nature, an archipelago is a chain of separate, but related, islands—an apt metaphor for the distancing measures and social bubbles we’re all experiencing under COVID-19.

As for many of his monumental painting installations, Lin’s murals at MOCA were painted by local artists. A team of eleven painters was led by Toronto-based artist Vanessa Maltese. They worked for 6 weeks to complete the hand painted, patterned paintings and participated in a mentorship programme with the museum. Throughout the production process, there were virtual check-ins with Isabelle Georges at Lin’s studio in Paris, as well as with Lin who is currently in Taiwan.

Archipelago was produced by:

* The artists were selected via an open call process and are participating in a mentorship with the museum.

Michael Lin’s (b. 1964, Taiwan) work has been exhibited internationally in major institutions and international Biennials around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; UCCA, Beijing; Vancouver Art Gallery; Lyon Biennial; Singapore Biennial and Towada Art Center, Japan.

Installation Views

Michael Lin in Conversation with Kathleen Bartels

Spotlights: Michael Lin

Michael Lin, Archipelago, 2020. Installation view. Photo credit: Tom Arban Inc.