Lin Yan 林延

Lin Yan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Beijing. She followed her grandfather’s and mother’s footsteps to Paris continuing her studies in art in 1985. A year later, she went to the United States. Her first solo show “Tai Chi in Painting” at graduate school she infused Chinese philosophy into her own “constructing paintings.”


In 1993, she moved to New York with her painter husband Wei Jia and their son. Taoist thoughts 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 Lin Yan’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, Lin Yan blurs boundaries, embraces conflict, brings 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, postmodern appropriation and ancient technical rigor.


Lin Yan’s works have been widely shown in the galleries and museums, 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.