Kuo-Wei Lin

(Taiwan) b.1982

Lives and works in Taipei and Berlin

Kuo-Wei Lin moved to Paris in 2000 and enrolled at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Art de Lyon in 2002. After attending the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig in 2005, he earned a Master of Art degree from Chelsea College of Art in London in 2007. In 2010, he participated in projects at the Institute für Kunst im Kontext, Universität der Künste Berlin, and in 2012 he earned his Meisterschüler at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. The transience of Lin’s life as a long-term Taiwanese expatriate constantly influences his observations. In his work, he attempts to reconfigure materials and to intervene in our everyday reading of absurd phenomena, forming ambivalent questions about the experiences of daily life. He endeavors to understand the odd in the ordinary and the insignificant in the monumental by decoding and reconstructing context. In his view, understanding a given context begins with identifying the exceptional and making possible a novel interaction with it. Lin’s works explore, articulate, reform, and give certain accents to contradictory spaces in relation to social topology and his individual experience of displacement.

For the Taipei Biennial 2014, Kuo-Wei Lin presents two works that ponder the issues of friction, consumption and the amplification of material. In Cosmetric, he examines the visual thought matrix that underpins the use of cosmetics – embedded within the word “cosmetic” is the word “metric.” “Cosmetic” comes from the Greek kosmētikos, which is related to kosmein, meaning “to arrange,” and kosmos, meaning “order.” This work consists of eight two-dimensional pieces, serving as a tableau hanging on a wall. Different cosmetics serve as the work’s pigments, rendered as a series of abstract images. This “rearranged” color chart shifts our vision to the intercrossing space of color and its materiality.

Kuo-Wei Lin’s intention is to underscore the thought processes that lie beneath the cosmetic layer, to explore what we perceive and conceive from this exchange of human encounter, questioning this interlocking projection, as well as human perception.

Inevitable frictions consists of six sand-blasted stainless steel globes. Two rotating stainless steel globes aggressively strike against each other, motored by an electric mechanism. Kuo-Wei Lin is interested in how we experience the world through a juxtaposition of symmetry and asymmetry. Lin reduces the materiality of the globes and discreetly blurs their boundaries by sand blasting each globe. This arbitrary rotating system reflects not only the notion of time and chaos, but also references power relations – how does one globe shape another? By scrutinizing our perceptions of an ancient yet still commonplace device, Lin points out the ambivalent state of consumption. 

Kuo-Wei Lin has exhibited his works at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei (2013); the Institut Français Berlin, Germany (2012); the Centre Emile Hamilius, Luxembourg (2011); the Uferhallen, Berlin (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2009); the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow, Poland (2008); the Tate Britain, London (2007); and the Goethe-Institut Lyon, France (2006).

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