“THREE ON THE BUND 29.09-15.11.04”
2004, emulsion, skaters, wood, 1500×359×400cm
Odyssey(s) 2004-Shanghai Gallery of Art
Courtesy Shanghai Gallery of Art-Shanghai, China
Michael Lin proposes a large half pipe in the atrium of the gallery as the next stage in the Odyssey. The half pipe is painted with folkloric motifs appropriated from a blanket that was purchased at the fabric market in Shanghai. For the opening local skate boarders will perform, riding back and forth in between the walls of the atrium. This project is the perfect realization of Lin’s concept of architecture as a social space, of the interaction between architecture and public. The implication of a performance other than the spontaneous and arbitrary involvement of the public is a recent element in his works that makes his concept move from social interaction to social intervention. Lin thus describes the skaters as “a kind of urban guerrilla, parasitic on the urban landscape but drawing very distinct lines in the architectural forms of the city.” Social interaction, movement, and space here form a whole that generates a strong aesthetic experience. Exaggeration and visual exuberance characterize the artist’s practice. This time movement is added underlining the aspect of adventure and exploration common to every journey. In the process of exploring the individual constantly redefines his limits and thus his identity.
“In my work I use patterns which are specific to Taiwan but I think it is also just as important that they are ornamental, pre-modern, and are conceived in relationship to architecture as a social space. (…) I think it is more interesting to think about how I redefine my identity than how I define it. I am not interested in consolidation an identity for myself. I come from here and I want to go everywhere. I want to site a passage of Joseph Conrad’s “Hearth of Darkness”; ‘He was a seaman, but he was a wanderer, too, while most seamen lead, if one may so express it, a sedentary life. Their minds are of the stay-at-home order, and their home is always with them-the ship’ and so is their country-the sea. One ship is very much like the another, and the sea is always the same.’
An excerpt from the catalogue Odyssey(s) 2004 Curated by Martina Koppel-Yang
“Architecture, ornamentation, function, and domesticity. A movement of color and flow.
My proposal for the exhibition is a half pipe. A half pipe is a skateboard ramp that skaters use to ride on, banking back and forth between the two ramps on each end in a constant flow. My interest here stems from my previous experience as a skater while growing up in Southern California, the birthplace of skate boarding. This half pipe will be constructed in collaboration with a local architect in Shanghai, I would also like to seek the collaboration of a local skateboard team to consult on the project and at the end to perform during the opening of the exhibition.”
Michael Lin, May 4, 2004