Interview: Debbie YJ Lin
Luca Curci talks with Debbie YJ Lin during ALCHEMIC BODY 2019 at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, raised in Vancouver, Canada, Debbie YJ Lin is a Chinese-Canadian-Californian interdisciplinary artist interested in site specific work focused on the architecture of human sound, interpersonal gestures and languages. She began playing classical piano at four and having performed as a vocalist at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Carnegie Hall, she explores reconciliation of performative and reflective expressions, often experimenting with a hybrid of sound, found, upcycled, and video to transcribe the transience of thought, memory and emotion through the lens of Faith and emerging technology. She graduated cum laude from UCLA with a B.A in Music Education, summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music with a M.M in Music Production and Technology and received her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School of Public Engagement in New York. Debbie’s works have either been shown and/or privately collected in the US, UK, Canada, South Korea, China, Germany, Spain, Israel, Sweden and Norway; she is currently based in Los Angeles, Taipei and New York, consulting in creative expressions and producing an inaugural virtual pop up micro art residency: gather.art.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Debbie YJ Lin – Faith, grief, memory and art sustainability/accountability. My tendency had been to stay silent because the last thing I’d want is to contribute to unthought out clutter that can easily accumulate. But at the same time, why remain quiet, when there is still so much to say, even if it’s only a whisper. So, another major theme represented in my artworks is the growing concerns for noise pollution, the condition of hyperacusis, and the lost art of hearing.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration? What is your creative process like?
DYJL – Pulling from my classical music training, I often structure work in (three) movements, deconstructed or played/exhibited in isolation or in mashed up remixes and/or improvisation. Using sound, moving image, and found/unwanted objects from my immediate environment, I write non-linear, time-based, hypersoft compositions rooted in my literary influences, Oswald chambers and C.S. Lewis, by merging sonic textures with visual dissonance to corporealize the reconciliation of performative and reflective expressions within the duality of micro and macro systems. Proposing the (non)performance in the era of tumult and turmoil, loss of privacy through digitalized documentation and over-saturation of ‘design thinking’, and under-utilized ‘thinking thinking’, I ponder: is ‘art thinking’ a form of practicing compassion, healing and potentially remembering?
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
DYJL – The theme spoke about transformation and ‘hidden identities’. My video piece insisted on a brevity and a near-nonchalance haphazardness to touch on the subject of our ‘hidden voices’ within our subconsciousness. I drafted the visual first, then composed the sound piece, creating all works from my body (both vocalizations and image). An ode to the interlude, Vivid Dreams Only Happen in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (VDOHREMS), challenges and embraces traditions to deconstruct habitual tendencies; using human vocalizations conceptualized through aural and visual cultures in relation to the transient digital landscape to create a tapestry that reflects a concurrent sinking in and breathing out.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID Group can represent an opportunity for artists?
DYJL – Yes certainly, and we need more global platforms to represent the diverse artistic voices.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
DYJL – Ideas for collaborations are always welcomed! Thank you and looking forward!