Lin Yan



How do you make art out of China’s deadly pollution crisis? Lin Yan, trained at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, and now residing in Brooklyn, responds by molding traditional Xuan paper into wafting or curtainlike forms, mottled with ink to evoke both noxious coal dust and centuries of ink painting and calligraphy. In the midst of the grimy elegance she occasionally depicts a bird form-perhaps a phoenix rising from industrial ashes like some idealized China to come, or perhaps a symbol of here-and-now longing for escape into Mallarmé’s pure transcendent azure.