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Mary M. Tinti

(b Houston, TX, 1951).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual artist. His multimedia works investigate the pathology of contemporary culture. Mel Chin was born and raised in Houston, Texas to parents of Chinese birth and received his BA in 1975 from the Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. The works in Chin’s oeuvre are diverse in both medium and subject, but a consistent undercurrent of social, political, and environmental responsibility runs throughout. Whether a sculpture, film, video game, installation, public project or earthwork, Chin’s artworks consistently targeted a broad spectrum of pressing cultural and ecological interests and spread their message in subtle, if not viral ways.

In the 1980s, Chin produced a number of sculptures that set the stage for his ever-evocative artistic journey. The Extraction of Plenty from What Remains: 1823 (1988–9) is a frequently referenced piece from this period. It is a symbolic encapsulation of the effects of the Monroe Doctrine, referencing the complicated dealings between the US (represented by truncated replicas of White House columns) and Central America (represented by a cornucopia of mahogany branches, woven banana-tree fiber, and a surface layer of hardened blood, mud, and coffee grinds). From the 1990s, however, Chin moved away from strictly gallery-based installations and began creating works that directly engaged contemporary culture in a variety of physical and theoretical landscapes....


Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1989.

Born 1954, in Xiamen (Fujian).

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Huang Yongping graduated from the fine arts academy of Zhejiang in 1982. He was active in the Xiamen Dada group. He left China for Paris in ...


Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 24 April 1948, in Osaka.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Kitatsuji Yoshihisa studied at the Tama Art School, Tokyo, from 1968 to 1972. The next year he travelled to the West, visiting France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. He lives and works in Osaka. His work is first and foremost a reflection on painting itself, how the image fades and wastes away; at the same time, his work is concerned with the artist’s eye, which gives the image its quality. He uses photocopying techniques to produce modified repetitions of an original drawing....


Yulin Lee

[Ming Hong]

(b Tokyo, Nov 6, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lin studied at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles in 1990 and then the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena in 1993. Although Lin was born in Japan, he spent his early childhood in Taiwan and then moved to the USA. These transcultural experiences complicated the task of positioning himself as an artist after his return in 1993 to Taiwan, where contemporary art largely focused on locating a definitive identity.

Lin’s interest in creating art expressive of his fluid experience was already present in his first solo exhibition, Meander (1994). Lin hung monochromatic, acrylic-lacquered steel plates perpendicular to a white wall. While these highly finished works reflected an aesthetic close to that of Donald Judd’s industrially manufactured cubes, they also indicated Lin’s own West Coast background—the fetishism of the enamelled surface being rooted in southern California’s automobile culture....


Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born c. 1954.


Maita Masafumi’s painting is related to Conceptual Art. It relies on photographic documents and attempts to embody an intervention by the artist into natural phenomena, and to call them into question. He won the grand prix at the sixth International Exhibition of Young Artists at Sizuoka in ...


Wu Mali  

Yulin Lee

(b Taipei, June 14, 1957).

Taiwanese conceptual artist ( see fig. ). After graduating in 1979 from Tamkang University in Taipei with a degree in German language and culture, Wu left for Germany to study sculpture at the National Art Academy, Düsseldorf (1985). After graduating from Düsseldorf, she returned to Taiwan, where the lifting of martial law triggered vital socio-political and economic changes. As society swiftly shifted from the staleness of authoritarianism to effervescent pluralism and decentralization, Wu took a strong interest in the emerging social, political and historical hierarchies. Informed by her literary background, Wu’s early installation works Newspaper I Read (1989) and Gnawing Texts, Reaming Words (1993) involved putting the pages of a newspaper or texts through a shredder, then re-arranging the shreds into an installation.

This deconstructive work culminated in The Library (1995; see 2002 exh. cat., p. 26), a site-specific installation in the 46th Venice Biennale. The work consisted of a library of bookshelves that displayed immaculate acrylic cases in the form of books. In each bookcase Wu replaced world-renowned texts or tomes, such as the Bible, Thames & Hudson’s World Art series and Chinese classics with the paper fragments shredded from that text’s actual pages. By annulling the communicative function of the text, Wu transformed the texts from something with content or meaning into a non-verbal, visual material. Wu therefore made the audience aware of the artificiality of hierarchy inherent in many canonic writings by transforming objects with specific socio-cultural messages into what she describes as ‘art with eternal value’....


Joan Kee

(b Taichung, Feb 16, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lee spent his childhood in Taichung, where he studied Chan Buddhism from the age of eight. At 12, Lee spent time among Taiwanese expatriates in the Dominican Republic, and two years later moved to the USA, where he later studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He transferred, however, to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, where he focused on architecture and textiles (1993). During this time, Lee made work that originated from personal memories, such as One Hundred Days with Lily (1995), which he started after his grandmother’s death. This work was a long-term endeavour documenting the life cycle of a lily that Lee took with him as he went about his daily activities in San Francisco.

After graduating from Oakland, Lee went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. At Yale, Lee expanded upon his interest in interpersonal communication, which resulted in the production of works such as ...


Morgan Falconer

revised by Mary Chou

(b Tokyo, 1962).

Japanese painter and sculptor. He studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (BFA 1986, MFA 1988, PhD 1993). Murakami began to gain recognition as a sculptor in the early 1990s. Drawing on Minimalism and conceptual art, his work often explored the clash between contemporary Japanese and American culture. Sea Breeze (1992), which was made in response to an island location, consists of a large trailer with shutters that open to emit a powerful light; it suggests something of the aggressive, sardonic character of his work, as well as the influence of commercial display. In the late 1990s Murakami gained more recognition as a painter, and began to blend abstraction and cartoon imagery in highly coloured images painted in flat space. Some works are abstract: Cream (1998) depicts a long skein of blue-white seminal fluid flying across a pink backdrop. Others, such as ...


Karen M. Fraser

(b Hyogo Prefecture, 1945).

Japanese photographer, sculptor, and conceptual artist. He studied at Kyoto City University of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in 1967 and an MFA in 1969. Nomura was initially trained as a sculptor. In his MFA thesis project, Tardiology (1969), Nomura explored the idea of non-permanent sculptural form, creating an eight-metre tall cardboard sculpture and then using photographs to record the changes in form as the boxes gradually collapsed under their own weight. From that point on photography was one of his primary media. Nomura was interested in investigating processes of scientific and natural phenomena with a particular focus on the passage of time. He used photographs to capture movement and changes over time and to make previously unseen things visible. Many of his projects were created over lengthy periods, with photographs being taken daily or monthly and for years. In his 1991 Analemma series (The Analemma ’91-Noon...


Marta Filipova

(b Žilina, Slovakia, 1966).

Slovak conceptual artist. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava and has held residencies in the USA, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. He has been exhibiting since 1996. His work usually involves the participation of exhibition visitors, who help to carry out experiences that Ondák designs. The visitor is no longer just a spectator – his or her presence, sound, or visual contribution become part of the work of art. Ondák thus challenges the dichotomies of the private and the public spheres, the inside and the outside, the real and the anticipated.

Ondák involved museum visitors in the creation of a work entitled Measuring the Universe (2007, Munich, Alte Pin.; 2009, New York, MOMA). The participants were asked to mark their height on a white wall in an empty gallery room, creating black lines with people’s names all around. Drawing on an internationally popular custom of marking children’s height at home, he brought a private affair into a public space. The marks, which held great personal importance for the individuals involved, became anonymous and lost amongst other people’s indications....