Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.
THE ABOVE QUOTE by American realist painter, Edward Hopper, seems an apt description of the art that Teng Yen Lin produces. The very first art pieces that caught my attention were from her series, "Where Did The Gravity Go? ", through which she expresses her very human struggles with existential questions of self, place and life.
At 22 years old, Yen Lin has much to be proud of. She held her first solo exhibition last year, which she says, was a process of having the courage to step out of her self-imposed limiting beliefs, and to achieve something for herself. Besides that, her work has been featured at the 2011 OH! Open House, PLACE Art Exhibition, the Singapore Art Museum (2009-2010) and on many other local platforms.
Yen Lin is not just another artist. She is captivated by the mediums she uses, inspired by the act of creating art. Her fascination with lines and their power to shape perspectives is a testimony to this. Her anamorphic tape installations at OH! Open House in 2011 and Tactile at the Singapore Art Museum create illusions of objects that are not there. It is the simplicity of using lines that is both tongue-in-cheek and powerful at the same time.
I see myself as a growing artist, and I intend to keep growing as a person, and pushing my limitations in life, so that the art I produce can grow in richness too. The more honest I am with myself, the more honest my artwork can be.
But more than that, Yen Lin’s passion and hunger is contagious. Her “never say never” stance to life and art is an inspiration and challenge to everyone who has big dreams, but clips their own wings. “Ideas just come to mind and I simply do it. I’m interested to know what is possible for me to do if I cut out the mind's chatter and the 'I can’t's, and simply create work without thinking too much about it.”
What's next for Yen Lin?
Look out for The Black Line Project, which cuts across NUS campus and other venues in Singapore, where a series of black circles, with the help of a whole dollop of imagination, transforms into teleportation portals that can cut across space and time.
To find out how you can be a part of this project, check out Yen Lin's website.