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City Life Org - Artist Michael Lin draws inspiration from Chinese pottery to create the first site-specific installation for the Great Hall's escalators

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Photo of Michael Lin by Tom Cheng

Exhibition schedule:
August 15, 2022 – Ongoing

Met Fifth Avenue, Escalator, 1st Floor

Site-specific installation pentachrome Artist Michael Lynn brings contemporary art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Great Hall escalator for the first time. Inspired by museum collections and building architecture, pentachrome It invites visitors to reconsider the Great Hall, its balconies and the surrounding art from a fresh perspective. Using motifs drawn from two Chinese porcelain vases, Lin created large, vibrant images that cover the walls along the escalator, linking the museum’s architecture with the Chinese ceramics on display nearby. Attention was drawn to the relationship. You can see his installation from August 15, 2022.

This installation was made possible by Barbara A. Wolfe and the Director’s Fund.

“We are always looking for new and surprising ways for Metropolitan Museum of Art visitors to experience art,” said Max Hollein, the Museum’s Marina Kellen French Director. “Michael Lin’s exciting installation activates escalators in immersive and unexpected ways, while also provoking thought-provoking reflections on the history of Chinese ceramics in the iconic Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ”

Joseph Shire-Dolberg, associate curator of Chinese paintings for Oscar Tan and Agnes Shutan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said, “Michael Lin’s ability to combine art, architecture, and human relationships makes him an ideal candidate for this commission.” As an artist, he created an indelible visual experience while drawing attention to the role that Asian art played in the grandeur of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

For over 100 years, Asian art, especially Chinese ceramics, has graced the Grand Hall and has received special attention around the second-floor balcony. The curvaceous forms and vibrant colors of these Chinese works of art are both foils and decorations of neoclassical architecture defined by cool limestone surfaces, towering columns, domes and arches, and long, regular balustrades. has played its role. This dynamic was well known in the home of the museum’s founder, who used Chinese pottery to add color, shape and exoticism to Beaux Arts and Rococo interiors. Over time, the museum’s collection has grown and our understanding of other cultures has grown, but this fundamental relationship between European architecture and Chinese ornaments has persisted.

pentachrome Spotlight, explore, and flip this relationship. As visitors ascend the escalator, he is surrounded by images of birds and flowers drawn from two Qing dynasty porcelain vases, magnified to a majestic and overwhelming scale. Inspired by street posters (“wild posting”) campaigns found in urban landscapes, Lynn applies imagery in a cumulative and irregular manner, breaking the formal museum environment and inviting casual engagement in the streets. increase. By surrounding and immersing visitors in these images, Lin invites a deeper look and consideration of their paradoxical role—both central and secondary—in the history of the museum’s great halls. prompt us.

pentachrome Conceived in consultation with the Met’s Asian Art Department of Joseph Shire-Dollberg, Oscar Tan, and Agnes Su-Tang Associate Curators of the Department of Chinese Painting.

The installation can be found on The Met’s website, Facebook, Instagram, twitter Use the hashtag #MetPentachrome.

About the artist

Artist Michael Lin (born 1964 in Tokyo) is based in Taipei and Brussels. He organizes monumental pictorial installations that reconceptualize and reconfigure public spaces, using patterns and designs borrowed from traditional Taiwanese textiles in his work. Lin’s work has been exhibited at major institutions and international biennials around the world, including the 2013 Oakland Triennale and the California Pacific Triennale. Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, 2016. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2017. Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2019. Most recently in 2020 he was at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto and the Jumex Museum in Mexico City.