Lin Tianmiao (b. 1961, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province) is recognized as one of China’s most esteemed female contemporary artists. From her early installations to recent prints and works on canvas that incorporate layers of needlework with highly textured surfaces – this influential artist hints at the ever-present tension between tradition and modernization in contemporary China. Through Lin Tianmiao’s careful consideration of the legacy of Chinese tradition and skilled awareness of surface, her work represents the aesthetic and conceptual depth of her subjects.
Using a dynamic combination of sculpture, installation, photography, needlepoint and 2-dimensional work, Lin Tianmiao’s entire oeuvre reveals a rapidly evolving world, fundamentally centered on her experiences as a woman. Material itself takes centre stage in her work – silk and thread is synonymous with her practice. Twisting, braiding, pulling, knotting, wrapping and embroidering are transformed from simple techniques into the artist’s personal visual language. Surfaces are often reworked with layers of needlework, infused and transformed into a multi-layered visual experience.
Lin Tianmiao's work has been included in numerous local and international exhibitions, such as: ‘Focus: Works on Paper’, Long March Space, Beijing, China, 2008; ‘Global Feminisms’, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, 2007; ‘About Beauty’, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany, 2005; ‘Mahjong: Works from the Sigg Collection’, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland, 2005; ‘Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China’, International Center of Photography, New York, USA; Asia Society Museum, New York, USA; Smart Museum, Chicago, USA, 2004. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, recently purchased her print works.