Monday, October 19, 2015

Move the Earth

As shared, I made a Sunday outing earlier this month to New Haven to visit Yale and see a few art exhibits.  It was my late afternoon walk across the sunny campus that stayed on my mind most on return to New York City.

Women's Table, Yale, Cross Campus

That evening, I spent some time online learning more about Maya Lin as I was only somewhat familiar with Women's Table, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Storm King "Wavefield" and a Pace gallery installation I stumbled upon some years ago.

Storm King, Wavefield

The attached link to a Makers video interview with the architectural artist taught me more about her vision and motivating design principles.

The daughter of Chinese immigrants and educators, a poet and a ceramic artist, Maya was encouraged by her mother as a child, "In your generation, you should do whatever you feel like doing."  She pursued Architecture at Yale in the mid 1970's and often attributes her respect for land and the environment to her own roots in the rural hills of Athens, Ohio.

As she tells, it, her whole Senior Architecture class decided to submit entries to the contest announced for the Vietnam Memorial. She conducted 6 to 8 weeks of research, then visited the site. She awoke with the inspiration to cut open the earth to define the memorial.

At age 21 and out of over 1400 anonymous entries, Maya had no idea she would win the competition but explains that amidst all the protests that ensued over the aesthetics of her proposal, "I knew I was right. I knew that if that project was built, it would help people..." To date, over 4 million visitors experience the Memorial annually.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial,  photo, courtesy Pinterest

Maya Lin's Civil Rights Memorial is another major work I must learn about and her final memorial is "What is Missing?" a multi-sited artwork that addresses the crisis of biodiversity and habitat loss, environmental themes of great concern to her.

Civil Rights Memorial, photo courtesy Pinterest...

What is Missing? photo courtesy Pinterest

Interestingly, she played a recent role in the world of fashion, collaborating with Phillip Lim on his 10th Anniversary Spring 2016 runway show held in September in New York.

Apparently reluctant at first to engage with the fashion project,  Maya later sketched a few ideas to support the "Stop and smell the flowers" theme of gratitude the fashion designer wished to convey to mark his career milestone.

She imagined seven towering heaps of toxin free compost to shape the Pier runway, simple and in keeping with the collection's earth tones and minimalist lines.

The 200 tons of earth were repurposed following the show.

Maya Lin’s installation seven earth mountain, 2015, for Phillip Lim’s Spring 2016 Runway Collection. 
(Photo: Courtesy Maya Lin Studio and Pace Gallery)

Topologies, a monograph of Maya Lin's work, was published last week by Rizzoli.  It will be an invaluable resource to discover more, sharing 50 projects that span the past three decades of Ms. Lin's acclaimed career.

MOCA, photo courtesy Pinterest...

I will begin my exploration on Centre Street with MOCA, the Museum of Chinese in America, designed by Maya Lin in 2009.

Monday, October 12, 2015

on campus

A pristine afternoon at Yale...

Harkness Tower...
Old Campus
Maya Lin's The Women's Table, Cross Campus

reflection, The Women's Table...

campus style and a smile...

fall flora...
through Silliman College gate...

more later on my "art intensive" day trip...