Michael Lin: Locomotion

Looks cool right? This was the panoramic shot I took (with my iPhone) of Michael Lin’s exhibit Locomotion back in May. Michael Lin is a Taiwanese artist who’s currently based in Brussels, Shanghai, and Taipei, and he’s known for his use of flowers in his artworks. The flowers and patterns that are often present in his work are traditionally used in Taiwanese embroideries and textiles. He became famous around the late 90s, and now displays his work at biennales and famous museums around the world.

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) in Manila (not Metro Manila, the actual Manila city) commissioned Michael Lin to do an installation in one of their exhibit spaces. It’s sad that the installation was temporary though (it’s gone by now). I wonder how long it took just to paint that giant mural alone? It must’ve been pretty difficult since the ceiling was really high, and the width of the wall was really long; as you can see, a normal photo alone wouldn’t have been enough to capture the entirety of the mural. 

The paintings are absolutely stunning up close! Unfortunately I didn’t get to take a photo for the two other prints, but I found this the most beautiful since it’s the most colourful and most intricate. I love the use of dots! You can really see the asymmetry and irregularity of the dots, which really shows how each of them were carefully painted by hand. Amazing! I’ve always loved flowers in general, real flowers and those in art. I’d love to see the Taiwanese textiles that Michael Lin gets inspiration from one day. 

There was also another installation in the mezzanine of the room which displayed pedicabs adorned with the his artwork. I never knew pedicabs could look so beautiful.  

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He partnered up with the local community in the neighbourhood to design their pedicabs, and they in turn were allowed to use these around the area. I didn’t see any being used outside while I was there, but it would’ve been really cool if I did see one. It would’ve been cool as well to actually ride one (although I’m pretty terrified of riding pedicabs). Imagine seeing the work of an international artist being driven around your neighbourhood, that’s pretty awesome. 

Then there was this other installation called United Gatherings which were stools that became a single artwork when put together. Kind of like pieces of a puzzle. 

I didn’t get to photograph the entirety of it though. It was really small but very sturdy! You’d think that it might be quite fragile but it’s surprisingly not. 

There was another one that I didn’t get to photograph. They were the tarpaulins designed by the pedicab drivers themselves, which I honestly didn’t find too attractive, which is why I didn’t plan on photographing them anymore; although I did find it interesting how they decided to display it rather than throw it away. It was an interesting addition to a clean and minimalist blank room that served as the exhibit space. 

On the last day of the exhibit, one of my friends decided to throw a party there. Her company was a sponsor, so they allowed her to use the room for personal reasons. It was good that she threw a party as well, because otherwise I don’t think anyone would be willing to brave the horrible Metro Manila traffic to drive there just to see the artwork alone. As you can see in my first photo, there are tables and lights on the ground floor; those were used for the party. It was a really fun party, with great food and great live music, and I was glad that we all got to see the beautiful exhibit before it was demolished. 

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