Riverlike Narrative – immigration and movement

Solo exhibition poster

Solo exhibition poster by Lin, Yi-Wei, 2016

My relationship with the others is like the relationship between the upper and lower reaches of a river or a river with its tributaries, and we find each other through narration. Starting from the garden of an agency and ending at the dark side of a public space, in the tableau I am working in the agency space and another group of rovers are picking up not only the narratives but also a number of their own avatars, which the section of the era has mapped out.

When I continued to think about the relationship between immigration and movement, I chose to do my military service in the Immigration Agency from 2014 to 2015. I worked to assist in interviewing foreign immigrants to Taiwan; this provided limited practical experiences from which to re-contemplate narrative fragments that reflect the outlines of contemporary life. Then I held my first solo exhibition, “Riverlike Narrative" in 2016. From the space of the Immigration Agency, and the public space of the river bank continued to grow and shrink, through the exhibition began to mapped out the palm trees imported from Hawaii when Taiwan under Japanese rule during the early 19th century, and the US provided aid for Taiwan in the 1960s, and now, a large number of palm trees still appear in the paintings by many young artists in Taiwan.


Paintings is exhibited at the Taipei Biennial and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2016.

Late-night Taipei street scenes and government offices, specifically interiors of buildings or exterior plants and landscaping that extend into public spaces, comprise the content for paintings completed during my period of active service at the NIA including Bird Garden, Escalator, Column of Water, and Garden. Through the expressive mode of painting, these scenes reveal a meditation on the sense of space within a garden. Works from the Night Run series were completed after I finished up at the NIA and returned to my life on the riverside city to continue making artwork. The lacquer and acrylic pigments used in making this series react in completely different ways to water, but both have a glossy aspect. These characteristics enable me to embed my personal experiences of a transitional state while exercising in public spaces late at night.

All objects, including the self, find resonance with the surrounding environment during a night run. The process of immersing the self into the environment enables me to reveal a most “present” stance while processing abstract information. The palm trees, stray dogs, and fireworks depicted in the paintings conceal a visual narrative of colonization, immigration, nature, and contemporaneity, blended together in a ghostly manner. The lights flicker but are never extinguished in this contemporary “City of Subway Cars” that exists in narrative form, and carries its inhabitants in a consistent progressive state of movement.