singapore art biennale 2011: michael lin
singapore art biennale 2011: michael lin singapore art biennale 2011: michael lin
mar 29, 2011

singapore art biennale 2011: michael lin

image © designboom

the work of taiwanese artist michael lin is public art for the sake of the public. his interventions in art galleries include installing a bed in the kiasma museum (helsinki) for people to rest on, a coffee shop in the palais de tokyo (paris), and installing skateboard ramps in P.S.1 (new york) and the shanghai gallery of art. his signature floral patterns have been applied on both small and large facades through out various cities. it is in these kinds of projects that encourage the public to contribute to the function and meaning of his work.

stacking of items is common due to the amount of products usually in a store at a time. image © designboom

for the 2011 singapore art biennale, lin presented ‘what a difference a day makes’ a study of a functioning daily goods shop in shanghai. by purchasing every item in the store (over 4,000 objects), the artist wanted to create a time capsule of this specific space where the general public of about a 4 block radius in the center of shanghai, would come to purchase the normal things that they have in their homes. these universal items help to tell the very specific stories of those inhabiting this neighborhood.

image © designboom

image © designboom

various daily goods on display as part of lin’s ‘what a difference a day made’image © designboom

finding the beauty and possibilities in common goods image © designboom

artist michael lin portrait © designboom

after documentation, packing them into 17 shipping crates and moving the whole store to singapore, lin re-created the store in the same manner that it would be organized or lack thereof. using the crates as display cases, the artist then pulled out examples of each type of item to showcase the great variety available. in a comparison to a common 7-11 shop, lin explained that these stores are not stocked with a standard set of goods but reflect the individual needs of the individuals and families that frequent it.

image © designboom

image © designboom

view of main exhibition space image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

lin also enlisted the help of a juggler to use the various objects in ways otherwise originally unintended revealing the beauty and power of these normal items.

view of how the shop entrance would be seen normally, adapted to the exhibition space. image © designboom

detail of how items would be presented, there is no real notion to the western convention of having a point of purchase display. images © designboom

the store is still functioning in shanghai where michael lin (b. 1964, tokyo) lives and works (also based in brussels).

— the third edition of the singapore biennale (SB2011) opened its doors to the public on march 13th and will run until may 15th, 2011.  designboom visited the shows led by artistic director matthew ngui and curators russell storer and trevor smith. the SB2011 open house program is organized by the singapore art museum (SAM) of the national heritage board and supported by the national arts council, singapore. 63 artists from 30 countries are presenting 161 works across four exhibition venues – SAM and SAM at 8Q, the national museum of singapore, old kallang airport and marina bay. 

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