We checked out the solo exhibition opening of Child Palace by Monika Lin last weekend at Art Labor. The venue was crowded with Shanghai’s art folk for the opening on February 28th with such high profile-ers as Lily Sui-Fang Sun Wong, granddaughter of the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
Child Palace has a nostalgic theme (see images), like the stuff of children’s story books, but at the same time, the artist explores deeper social issues in the layers of epoxy resin and polymer paint. The 3D effect allows for both delicate, lighthearted details and underlying meaning. Lin’s Double Happiness exhibition last year generated a lot of buzz with her investigation into the growing dependence on medication as a means towards psychiatric health.
The Child Palace exhibition features a number of soft, cloth installation pieces that replicate patterns from within the art pieces. Dangling at various heights and colors throughout the gallery, the installations provide in interactive “touch” element encapsulating the art on the walls and the viewer.
“I think an interactive installation is unique in Shanghai and can give viewers an opportunity not often found. In fact being able to touch any installation anywhere is not as common as it should be,” says Lin.
The material that Lin uses, epoxy resin, is the key to the multi-layered 3D effect in her work. And it’s a new material in art, only used in the last decade.
“Artists have been drawn to epoxy resin increasingly over the last 10 years. I started using it about then, but not quite in the same manner as I do now. Most commonly resin is used for casting/sculptural pieces or as a coating rather than as a distinct medium. The lengthy layering process I use is fairly unique, particularly the amount of layers used,” she said.
“I call it a medium as I use it as such, as one would use oil or water or beeswax (for encaustic) for their ability to separate, enhance, and move pigment around not as a coating material. I chose it not for its aesthetic value (that came later) but for its ability to create depth and literal encasement for the purpose of conveying the concepts and associations related to depth and encasement.”
Lin’s story airs tonight (Monday, March 9) on City Beat (ICS) on the 9:30 show.
Child Palace will be exhibited in Lin’s native city of San Francisco in June of this year. For photos from Child Palace opening, go here.
Child Palace: February 27 to March 27, 2009.
36 Yongjia Lu, Building 10 永嘉路36号临10, 靠近陕西南路
Hours: Tues-Sun, 10am – 5ish
Photo by Rebekah Pothaar.