Binaries and Divisions
This painting depicts two pinwheel-like elements weaving into green hollow forms while floating over a green-to-yellow gradated ground. Small pink raindrops and light blue diamonds cascade down the composition. This work is a continuation of the artist's ongoing use of calligraphic, letter-like forms and their interactions with a range of abstract shapes, including: biomorphs, lattices, circles and sine waves.
Lin’s dense calligraphy is a kind of graffiti in which comprehensible lettering gives way to pure form. This script evokes patterns and structures found in nature, on both the macro and micro level. Lin's abstractions bring to mind single-cell organisms, entangling kudzu vines and other plants, DNA helices and pulsating constellations—all rendered in effervescent colors. While Lin’s practice is distinctly his own, his work nonetheless resonates with the history of 20th century abstraction—including artists such as Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb and Bradley Walker Tomlin.
Isaac Tin Wei Lin paints calligraphic, letter-like forms in effervescing colors that evoke patterns and structures found in nature—on both the macro and micro level. The artist paints on a range of surfaces and supports, from a regular-sized canvas to a thirteen-story building. Lin’s dense calligraphy is a kind of graffiti in which comprehensible lettering gives way to pure form—bringing to mind biomorphs, lattices, entangling kudzu, DNA helices and sine waves.
Isaac Tin Wei Lin was born in 1976. The artist has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island and an MFA from the California College of Art in Oakland, California.
Solo exhibition of Lin’s work have taken place at: the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2013); the Print Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2010); Fleisher/Ollman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2010, 2021); Gallery 543 at URBN in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014); Park Life in San Francisco, California (2012); Queen’s Nails Annex in San Francisco, California (2006); Woodward Flats in San Francisco, California (2005); RVCA in San Francisco, California (2014); Needles and Pens in San Francisco, California (2018); and Lamp Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan (2012).
Lin participated with the DFW collective at the Biennale arts le havre in France in 2012.
Group exhibitions of Lin’s work have taken place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania (2011); the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2002, 2007); Fleisher/Ollman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2018, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2008); the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2007,2008); and the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2007); the Hole in New York City (2012); Bravin Lee in New York City (2007); Franklin Parrasch in New York City (2007); MASS Gallery in Austin, Texas (2013); Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon (2007); the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, Illinois (2009); the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California (2006); Somerset House in London, UK (2015); and Scooters for Peace in Tokyo, Japan (2019); among others.
Lin has been commissioned to paint several large-scale murals, including: three works through Mural Arts Philadelphia; a multi-story stairway mural for Facebook's headquarters in San Francisco; and a thirteen-story mural in Heerlen, the Netherlands, commissioned by the Stichting Street Art Foundation.
Lin’s work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, the Berkeley Art Museum in California, and the Free Library of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
Lin lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.