ˇ@ˇ@ Born and grown up in Taiwan, Lin Hsin-Chen is a fiber artist who has been devoting herself to creation, organizing exhibitions and teaching for 20 years. I often lead students or groups to work together on large-sized collective works. Global environmental issues are always my concerns so I put my observation and reflection into my works and writings.
ˇ@ˇ@ When I was young, I loved to use my free time to see exquisite crafts during business travels. Once I went to Lincoln Center and saw a hand-stitched quilt made by women during Civil War period. I was moved by how it was respectfully treated, preserved, and displayed. Why was this worn-out work regarded as treasure in the U.S.? What is the cultural foundation? How did the story begin? Whatˇ¦s development of the resource of producing it? Born in a country with a rich culture of womenˇ¦s needlework, I started to think: does Taiwan have similar creations and old stories behind them? From then on, my appetite changed. Nothing could interest me but ˇ§textiles.ˇ¨ At the age of 21, I was busy with business so that I could only collect information of creation when I got some free time. Beautiful fabrics and books about fiber art became my important collection. At that time I was just fascinated with textiles but didnˇ¦t get the impulse to sew.
ˇ@ˇ@ After getting married, I became a full-time mother. My enthusiasm for textiles remained the same while my free time increased. I had no idea about how to sew on a button. Craving for the enjoyment of needlework, I started to sew under instruction of books. However, I didnˇ¦t get pleasure until my husband, Wu Chung-Yen, taught me how to sew in a proper way. After that, I started my learning plan and to embrace a housewifeˇ¦s satisfaction of sewing. My learning plan mainly consisted of resources gathering, self-teaching from books, and sharing. It helped me to expand the resources of textiles, and get better understanding and inspiration. Through this learning plan, I not only equipped myself with skills but formed my vision and style. It was really a long journey of ˇ§realizing textilesˇ¨ in which I strove to build a vision and style of my own.
ˇ@ˇ@ Learning experience of fiber art originates deeply from life instinct; it is the creations of integration encompassed a culture of life. I put all my effort into expanding my horizons to achieve the goal for design and make every detail well-connected to one another. To go beyond the limitation, sometimes I have to break the given standards to pursue the ultimate spirit. Needles and threads are like my mentors; they lead me to absorb and mature. My thoughts and feelings are well-expressed in various forms and beyond boundaries through the narrative talents of works. The unlimited inspirations of Nature are my ideas for creation. I love to play with various kinds of fabrics. Exploring possibilities of combination always brings me new visions. I comprehend the delicate sentiment of every stitched fabric; it is an extension of a unique and moving story. Just like a storybook-a rich loaded with peopleˇ¦s thoughts and feelings. Artworks are more than themselves; they are like ˇ§intellectualityˇ¨ that people can peruse. This meaning of creation gets involved in each work and absorbs the subtle relationship to lines, colors and needles and threads.
ˇ@ˇ@ Learning to share with others is another important part of my self-taught plan. Devoting myself to teaching and researching has brought richness to my journey of exploration. I found my principle, ˇ§Focusing on teaching and no business relationship with studentsˇ¨ worked well for me. Iˇ¦ve gained happiness of sharing and explored knowledge and truth because of fabrics; Iˇ¦ve gained wisdoms of life and inexhaustible energy because of textiles. I found solid training and restless questing can equip me with abilities to realize my ideals so I decided to teach quilting, share my experiences and form a society (TAQS) with companions to promote our common ideals.
ˇ@ˇ@ Combining my young-days experiences of exhibitions visits with business integration ability, I made ˇ§building an integration platform for fiber artˇ¨ as the dream Iˇ¦m pursuing. Putting common good together to make bigger benefits and training myself to be an independent curator are goals that Iˇ¦m striving for. These two goals are inseparable as the sunlight and shadow. This is the most important lesson that requires human and material resources, budgets, dream pursuing, and perfect and imperfect integration of timing and resources. Just like ˇ§piecingˇ¨ in fiber, we connect small to big, few to many, details to detailsˇK I believe that what weˇ¦ll face in the future is not only the issue of personal performance of creative techniques but also the issue of placing public good prior to personal good.