Studio International

Published 02/03/2016

Lin Tianmiao: ‘Thread winding taught me to be patient’

Incorporating weaving, sewing and embroidery into her fine art practice, the multidisciplinary artist transforms ordinary objects made from commonplace materials into something rare, evocative and universal. Here, she talks about her work

Born in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, in 1961, Lin Tianmiao is one of the first female Chinese artists accorded international recognition. Lin studied at the fine art department of the Capital Normal University in Beijing, earning a BFA in 1984. She moved to Williamsburg in New York a few years later with her husband Wang Gongxin, a celebrated video artist. They returned to China in 1995, where they now live and work in a spacious villa just outside Beijing. Lin began her career as a textile designer, later incorporating weaving, sewing and embroidery into her fine art practice.

A multidisciplinary artist, she also works in sculpture, photography, video and a number of other media. Much of her work addresses women’s issues, connecting thread to her personal history. Investing in the arduously hand-made both emotionally and conceptually, Lin transforms ordinary objects made from commonplace materials into something rare, evocative and universal. Among recent solo exhibitions was one at the How Art Museum, Wenzhou, China, as well as at Galerie Lelong in Paris and New York, the Asia Society, New York, and the Beijing Centre for the Arts. She has also participated in numerous international group exhibitions and is widely collected.

Interview by LILLY WEI
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Translation by ALEX MA