Joanna Chia-yu Lin

Joanna Chia-yu Lin

Chiayi, Taiwan

Oslo, Norway

MFA, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, Medium and Material Based Art, Oslo, Norway
BFA, National Taiwan Normal University, Department of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

What is your expression?
I work with painting, photography, and textile. Lately, I have been mainly using a technique adapted from acrylic medium photo transfer. The outcomes are basically pieces of dried paint: they are paintings but are painted with the inkjet prints pigments.

I apply layers of acrylic mediums on inkjet paper prints, dip the prints in water and then rub off the paper fibers. Each print became translucent bodies that consisted of layers of acrylic medium with fading inkjet prints pigments. The image becomes blurry as I am rubbing off the paper as some pigments disappear and others get displaced. In the end, the acrylic mediums dry up into a thick body on their own and form a surface with visible brush strokes and sculptural features.

What inspires you?
In general, I will say it is time, everyday life, and boredom. I am interested in the mundane, tranquil moments where nothing has actually happened. I spent a lot of time just looking for the tiniest changes through windows, as there are many things to discover.

Aside from that, I enjoy time-based art a lot; slow film, minimal, ambient music and sound-art are my other main inspirations. Jonas Mekas’s As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty is my recent discovery. It’s a very beautiful film.

How would you describe your art?
I work with different materials, but I would consider them as a documentation of all sorts of traces and pieces of evidence in daily life.

I have a series of works termed Time Practices. In that series, I explored different ways of keeping records of a period, or so to say the ways of sensing the time passing. In Time Practices: 8 Hours, I attempted to draw a single line in an eight-hour period; In Time Practices: Calendar, I drew a single line on calendar paper every day for a year; In Time Practices: Through a 12th-Floor Window, I used a digital camera with a timer to capture the random scene outside the window at an interval that is set by my inner clock. In Time Practices: Burning Incense, I made a 24 hours documentation on an incense pot which my grandmother performs her daily ritual on. Lastly, in Time Practices: Security camera, I used the travel-time between two residences as the interval to parallel a clock that related to personal history.

In Time Practices I set up rules to restrict myself and wait for incidents to occur. Sometimes it is the ink stain from the squeeze of the fountain brush and other times it is the random passerby that got captured by the camera. Recently I have also started to take photographs without using a timer. In the current ongoing series Waiting, I try to capture the obscure scenes related to the act of waiting.

And from the material perspective, I am in love with the acrylic medium transfer technique which I have developed myself from a technique in painting. The outcome presents another main aspect in my works: labor time. By applying layers of acrylic medium and rubbing off the paper fibers, the physical time I spend on each print becomes visible. For me, the brush strokes, fading pigments, and cloudy images trace down memory, ever-presence, and the fluidity of time.

I would describe my art as witnesses of the time passing, documentations of the ghostly presences.

Why did you end up living in Oslo?
I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience as much as I can. So here I am, far away from home. I decided to take my master’s degree here and I am falling in love with the city more and more.

What do you like about the art scene and the city?
Oslo is a city with so many exciting things going on and yet not too extreme to drive me crazy. I also appreciate that there are opportunities for people from different backgrounds.

What could be better in the local art scene?
This might sound like a call in a strange time. I do hope that things could be back to normal soon. But at the same time, I see this period as a time to reflect on different levels and to prepare for the future ahead. Aside from that, I am also looking forward to more collaborations within different fields of arts, cultural backgrounds, and different narratives.

What are you currently working on?
I am putting together the Calendar piece that I made in 2020 for an exhibition coming up in June. It is the postponed graduation group show scheduled last year but it was sadly canceled due to Covid-19. I will exhibit that piece with all 300+ calendar papers hanging up for the first time. That will be very exciting!

I am also continuing with my recent project Waiting and working on another project on the theme of windows. My works from before have documented many scenes through windows, and now it’s time to turn the perspective inward (or outward) and see what will happen.

What are your ambitions and plans for the future?
Keep making art, living life, and establish my career. I am currently working as an artists’ assistant and have gotten lots of inspiration from the work experience. Soon I will set up my studio and will be in full creative mode.

Who of your colleagues deserves more attention?
Ahmed Badry. We had so many interesting talks while we were studying together. He works with sculptures, drawings and installation.