On View through November 27
Immersive Multimedia Exhibition by LA-Based Artist Explores Legacies of Colonialism
(Berkeley, CA) June 10, 2022—The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents the West Coast premiere of a solo exhibition by the Los Angeles-based artist Candice Lin, which explores themes of colonial history, her response to the social conditions of COVID-19, and the companionship of cats. Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping is an immersive, multisensory experience that comprises six new artworks Lin crafted during and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, anchored by a room-size indigo fabric tent at the center of the gallery that is open to visitors. Originally co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping includes a new component specific to BAMPFA: a selection of classical Buddhist artworks that are held by the museum on long-term loan, which were handpicked by the artist to deepen the historical points of reference for her surreal and macabre imagery.
Centering on the nomadic tent structure that evokes both temporary shelter and a quasi-religious temple, Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping also features indigo textiles, ceramic cat sculptures, plaster-and-concrete “tactile theaters” that welcome visitor interaction, and live plants embedded throughout the installations. Visitors can flip through a fabric bound journal and sketchbook, in which the artist recorded her dreams and reflections during the pandemic with hand-made evocative indigo swatches as well as pen and ink drawings. In addition, the exhibition features multiple animated videos, including a wall projection of an anthropomorphic cat demon that leads viewers through qi gong breathing and movement exercises.
With images of cats abounding throughout the gallery, Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping imagines an existence in which typically neglectful human caretakers of the world are no longer the protagonists. The Buddhist artworks that Lin chose from BAMPFA’s long-term loan underscore this interplay between animal, human, and environmental forces. The exhibition advances Lin’s practice of creating multisensory immersive artworks that explore the legacies of colonialism, racism, and sexism, inflected by her ongoing research and reflections on the interiority of personal experience during the early lockdowns of COVID-19.
Like Lin’s earlier works, Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping is deeply grounded in the artist’s extensive research into material histories, most notably the trade routes that were used in the colonial extraction of goods such as sugar, tea, cochineal, and indigo dyes like those used in her artwork. These themes are illuminated in an illustrated 149-page catalog that accompanies the exhibition, which was co-published by the Walker and Carpenter Center and is available for purchase in the BAMPFA Store. The publication features original essays by UC Berkeley professors Julia Bryan-Wilson and Mel Y. Chen, and is co-edited with essays by the Walker Art Center’s Victoria Sung and Carpenter Center’s Dan Byers, who also co-curated the exhibition.
“In its visual liveliness and interactive tactility, Lin’s work brings equal parts spirit and sorrow, joy and outrage, research and imagination to BAMPFA. We are delighted to join the Walker Art Center and Carpenter Center in presenting Lin’s pandemic-inspired creative new world to the public,” said Christina Yang, BAMPFA’s Chief Curator. Yang coordinated the exhibition’s BAMPFA presentation with Associate Curator Elaine Yau who aptly proposes that “the work provides the right kind of restful weirdness that characterizes this time.”
About Candice Lin
Candice Lin is an interdisciplinary artist who works in installation, sculpture, drawing, ceramics, and video. Lin has received multiple awards and residencies, including the Banff Centre Artist Residency and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and has presented works at the Logan Center for the Arts, the New Museum, and the Hammer Museum, among others. Lin lives and works in Los Angeles.
Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping is co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. It is co-curated by Dan Byers, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University and Victoria Sung, associate curator of visual arts, Walker Art Center.
The Berkeley presentation is organized by BAMPFA staff and coordinated by Christina Yang, chief curator, and Elaine Yau, associate curator.