Lin Wen-Ben

Region: West

As an artist, I am invested in experimental mark-making. Pushing beyond the abstract-expressionist tendency to create stylistic practices in a relative cultural vacuum, I instead embrace cultural signifiers and props that can play into painterly expression. Juxtapositions of base materials in final paintings can question the cultural assumptions of these objects, or props, and simultaneously transfigure their original meaning.

In my performance and painting The Martial Artist, I performed a caricature of my Eastern identity, utilizing nunchucks to create an abstract painting of black gesso paint on canvas. In another piece, The Head Banger, I created a similar but distinct painting out of different cultural materials and an almost genre-like understanding of identity. I donned a wig and dipped its strands into black paint, headbanging against a canvas while someone played guitar riffs behind me. I am as interested in the process and my conceptual satisfaction in the performance as in the mark-making it creates or as an expression in its own right.