Jeffrey Stark is pleased to present "A chicken and a dog, they walk," an exhibition of new work by Yi-Hsuan Lin. The exhibition, which consists of a single painting and a group of sculptures, will be on view from March 6 through April 1. This exhibition marks Lin's first solo presentation in New York.
Arranged in a militaristic formation on the gallery floor, Yi-Hsuan Lin has assembled a small army of mosquitoes. His insects are not immediately recognizable as such: hand-molded and unadorned with varnish or paint, their lumpy limbs and misshapen wings are stockier than those of their petulant counterparts. Rendered stationary in concrete, these peripatetic and plague-carrying figures are anchored to the ground. Lin's mosquitoes cannot annoy or buzz, but rather stand vigilant in rank, approximating a static swarm.
Lin describes the mosquito as a poetic analogue for his presence in the work. Drawing heavily on autobiographical experience, Lin works to develop a system of referential imagery pulled directly from his life. In this body of work, Lin contends with the time he has spent in Sao Paolo, where he currently resides. A constant witness to impoverished communities and systematic injustice, Lin began to relate to the figure of the mosquito: a frustrating, nearly invisible nuisance, that has little capacity to help those in need. Radically alone, much as he understands the figure in Camus's Myth of Sisyphus to be, Lin worked to redeem the single mosquito with which he identified. No longer a buzzing, irritating presence, his group of mosquitoes stands at the ready, poised to march forward.
Alongside his army of mosquitoes, Lin also presents a single commanding painting on paper. Lin's hand and history are equally as present here as they are in his sculptures, and they work to establish a gestural focus and a lyrical quality to his imagery. Lin's private iconography, legible as pictographs, though never didactic, serves as a launching pad for his formal experiments in paint. Suggestively composed with seemingly abstract structures, the works convey a certain legibility, but forestall simple interpretation. Much like Lin's transformed mosquitoes, his paintings ask for pause and attention: a mindful walk towards an unknown future, instead of a frenzied run on an overdetermined path.