Artist Profile - Zhi Lin

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Zhi Lin

Zhi Lin Profile Photo
2011 Fellowship Awards2010 GAP Award2003 GAP Award
King County



Golden Spike Celebrations: Chinese workers’ vantage point of Andrew J. Russell’s “Champagne Photo”, Chinese ink on paper, 48"x108", 2008.

Five Capital Punishments in China: Starvation, mixed media painting and screenprinting on canvas on ribbons, 12ft x 7ft, 1995-1999.

Names of the Unremembered: Transcontinental, painting in collaboration with Dan Boord and Luis Valdovino (video), 76"x135"x4.5", 2008-09.

Zhi Lin received a BFA from the China National Academy and MFA degrees from the Slade School of Fine Art at the University of London and the University of Delaware. He’s the recipient of numerous fellowships and his works have been reviewed and published by many national and international print media, including the New York Times, Seattle Times, Artnews, and many Chinese-language media sources. Zhi is currently an associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Washington School of Art. He has lived and worked in Seattle since 2001.

Zhi received 2010 GAP Award funding to cover a portion of the cost of materials and supplies for his ongoing project, Invisible and Unwelcomed People: Chinese Railway Workers, a mixed-media recounting of the bitter history of Chinese workers constructing the American transcontinental railroads during the late 19th century. He hopes that his work will increase the appreciation of the contributions of Chinese laborers to the development of the U.S. and encourage the audience to critically examine the current anti-immigration movement with a historical perspective and to prevent our history from being repeated.

Zhi received 2003 GAP Award funding to cover a portion of the model fees for three new large-scale screen paintings entitled Invisible People: Chinese Railroad Workers. Planned to measure 5 feet by 15 feet, the screens will be composed according to Chinese tradition: each of them will be painted on both sides and each side will feature a scene with over one hundred near life-size figures. “To paint images on both sides of the screen, and to confront the audience with two versions of history is to attempt to reveal the concealed and neglected part of the history of the American transcontinental railroads. I need to use life models and will hire native Chinese to be my models. They will wear clothes that date back to over one hundred years ago.”

Zhi also received a 2002 Fellowship from Artist Trust.

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