Joyce Lin creates objects that explore the relationship between material and environment, both as an intimate experience and as a reflection of humanity’s greater connection to the surrounding world. Her work can be understood as both sculpture and furniture, eroding the boundaries between these creative endeavors to emphasize the experience of creative vision, material, form, and process.
R & Company first began showing Lin’s work in 2019, and most recently included her Skinned Table, made with found walnut wood, brass, and gold acrylic paint, in its Objects USA: 2020 landmark exhibition on American handmade arts. Skinned Table captures Lin’s interest in exploring more directly the relationship between outer surfaces and interior structures, suggesting a peeling of layers to expose what is underneath. Equally, the work is part of Lin’s ongoing interest in the tensions between natural and synthetic materials, and the ways in which man-made materials influence how we both make and experience objects in our everyday lives. These interests are also seen in works such as the Exploded Chair (2016-19), which encases parts of a wooden spindle chair in clear acrylic, and Egg Chair (2019), which reveals the internal structure of spray foam, body filler, and plywood.
Of her work Lin says, “I have always been fascinated with internal structures and mechanisms—how things are made, where they come from, and how individual parts interact to make a functional whole, both through making and in the natural world. We, and everything in our environment, are inextricably linked. My wonderment is also mixed with an anxiety about how we, humans, have created an increasingly artificial environment for ourselves that seems destined to self-destruct. My work engages actively with modes of production, the realities and impacts of disposable materials like plastic, foam, and resin, the paradox of permanence and impermanence, and a wider examination of the tension and connection between the natural and the man-made.”
Lin grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts and first began creating kinetic sculptures, solidifying her interest in pursuing the arts. Her cross-disciplinary interests led her to attend the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design and Geology-Biology at Brown University in 2017. Today, she is based in Houston, where she teaches at TXRX Labs and produces new work at the East End Maker Hub. Her Home Grown works, which are made of fiberglass, epoxy, and soil and appear to be naturally emerging from the ground, are currently installed as part of Richmond Ave Sculpture Trail in Houston (through January 2022).