Lin Tianmiao
Date of birth
Place Of birth
Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Lin Tianmiao is sometimes described as one of the few feminist artists in China, a description she is inclined to reject. Born in Taiyuan, Shanxi, in 1961, Lin’s father is a traditional painter and her mother was a dancer. In the 1980s, with her husband, video artist Wang Gongxin, she moved to New York, where she worked as a textile designer. When they returned to Beijing in the mid-1990s it was to textiles – cotton, silk, and felt – that she turned when she began to make her first sculptures and installations. There is a dark undercurrent in Lin Tianmiao’s work, a sense of the frailty of the body and the fragility of relationships. Childhood memories of her mother sewing prompted her to develop a unique technique she calls ‘thread winding.’ She binds cotton or silk thread tightly around found and manufactured objects, a metamorphosis of wrapping and transforming. After her return to Beijing she established herself as one of the first female Chinese artists successfully tackling installation and video production. Lin’s work often seeks to challenge normative ideas of womanhood, beauty and motherhood through mixed-media installation with the use of threads, textiles and stereotypically ‘female’ crafts. Lin’s work has been critically acclaimed internationally, with her first major solo exhibition in 2013 at the Asia Society Museum in New York, and her ongoing participation in international biennales.

Works by this artist