Maya Lin (American, b. 1959)
Maya Lin is known for her large-scale environmental artworks, her architectural works and her memorial designs. Her unique multi-disciplinary career has “resisted categories, boundaries and borders” (Michael Brenson). In her book Boundaries, she writes I see myself existing between boundaries, a place where opposites meet; science and art, art and architecture, East and West. My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings.”
Nature and the environment have long been central concerns for Lin who attended Yale University where she earned a BA in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1986. Lin was thrust into the spotlight when, as a senior at Yale, she submitted the winning design in a national competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. She has gone on to a remarkable career in both art and architecture, whilst still being committed to memory works that focus on some of the critical historical issues of our time.
Lin’s art explores how we experience and relate to landscape, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, memory, time, and language. Her interest in landscape has led to works influenced by topographies and geographic phenomena.