I think the word “idol” means nothing but worship, whether an individual or a group. In the
written history of human culture, idols seem to always embody some mysterious power,
persisting through the ages and fulfilling various emotional needs. In short, the idols in my
artistic creations are like historical rays of light that will naturally reflect their own figures. A
piece of literature is meant for the millennium, but its ups and downs are known already in
the author’s heart.
Lin Hairong 2017
Following the successful launch of Longmen Art Projects | Hong Kong this past spring and its inaugural exhibition, Introspection & Exploration: Artistic Generations in Asia, Longmen Art
Projects | Shanghai is delighted to present Idol – New Works by Lin Hairong.
Born in 1975 in Heilongjiang, Lin received her MFA from Sichuan Fine Art Institute (SFAI) in
2006 and currently lives and works in Chongqing.
Idol gathers over 20 new works of varying sizes completed since Lin Hairong’s 2014 solo exhibition, Alluring Figures. In addition to her popular mini portraits, this exhibition also features a series of medium-sized works and also contains a few large, 3-meters wide works, all coming together harmoniously in the same exhibition space. Utilizing her feminine subtlety and gentleness, Lin Hairong has created her own world infused with lighthearted
and natural poetry in a dramatic and theatrical exhibition that is graceful, gorgeous, dignified,
soothing, and charming. Lin’s themes covers multiple time periods and captures moments in
history, reflecting the artist's inner world.
After studying Lin Hairong’s new works, Wang Lin (professor at SFAI, PHD from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, and famous art critic and curator) believes that through Lin’s works, the audience can discover the artist’s “restraint, calmness, and humor”.
As a woman, Lin has a special way to perceive life. She indulges herself in an alienated reality, appreciating life with fantasy. In her personal way, she lives a life of art, makes art that of living. She is the idol of characters in her paintings as well as herself. And sometimes, being
an idol means no longer being who you really are, hence the constant search for true self.
By contrast, Ms. Shen Qilan (renowned post-1980s writer, curator, and art critic with a PHD in philosophy from Germany’s University of Münster) takes a philosophical approach. “Every idol is man-made”. Lin Hairong is very aware what she paints are artificial products. “Idols are products of specific times in history. Literally idol shares similar meaning with marionette doll”. Through the quaint, theatrical drama in her works, Lin is subtlety joking with the audience. In scenes she has created, the subjects are often concentrating on doing something seemingly routine, but of little significance. The more serious and solemn they appear, the more ephemeral the drama. Lin Hairong’s works contain a touch of gentleness and subtleness. She acts like a child who knows some big secret but acts innocent and naive. She doesn’t want to expose the secret right away, she would rather present it as-is. Perhaps this is her way of compromise. In a way it may seem like she’s compromising or incomplete, but they may as well be an implicit manifestation with solemnity in disguise from another perspective. Philosopher Francis Bacon told us centuries ago that human beings prefer to be fooled by illusions – hence the success of theatre.
It is a delightful honor to bring together Mr. Wang Lin, a brilliant, independent, and humorous post-1940s academic and Ms. Shen Qilan, an equally brilliant and eloquent post-1980s philosopher, and Lin Hairong, a talented artist whose masterful brushwork depicts realistic yet fantastical worlds with grace and elegance.
On May 13, 2017, Longmen Art Projects | Shanghai will unveil Idol – New Works by Lin Hairong to the public, and have invited special guests Prof. Wang Lin and Ms. Shen Qilan to host a discussion panel with the artist titled “On Lin Hairong: My Art is My Life” during our media and cocktail reception to offer further insights for our esteemed guests and respected friends in the media.