Sign up for VMSPACE, Korea's best architecture online magazine.

Login Join

Borders, Territories, and Flow: ‘Maya Lin: Nature Knows No Boundaries’

exhibition Kim Jia Mar 03, 2023

SPACE March 2023 (No. 664)


 Exhibition view of ​Maya Lin: Nature Knows No Boundaries’ / Image courtesy of Pace Gallery


The American designer and sculptor Maya Lin’s first solo exhibition in Korea is now on show at Pace Gallery located in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, from Jan. 20 to Mar. 11. Lin, who has demonstrated a deep commitment to environmental issues and has developed multidisciplinary works across sculpture, architecture, and land art, is known as an artist who critiques and contemplates the concepts of site and place. After winning a design competition to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982, she has been immersed in working on memorials, public sculptures and installations, as well as works of landscape architecture, in the United States. In this exhibition, Lin presents works that metaphorise a very specific topography, focusing on the sculptural characteristics of water. Water exists in various states, changing its form into gas, liquid, and solid. Along these medium characteristics, the ecological significance of water occupies an important place in Lin’s work: ‘Silver Tigris & Euphrates Watershed’ (2022), the Tigris River in Mesopotamia is embodied using recycled silver; in ‘Marble Han River Dam’ (2022) the water flow of the Han River is actualised through green glass marbles; and in ‘Pin Gang - Imjin and Han’ (2022), the Imjin River flows from north to south using stainless steel pins, located on one wall of the exhibition. The three materials used to visualise water elaborate outlines and reveal the topography with exquisite poignancy. Water, as it is expressed as possessing the properties of the flow in her work, defies and transcends man-made constructs or systems such as nations and territories. The same goes with the streams of the Han River and Imjin River, which are unrelated to political division. Lin’s work uses various media to deliver intuitive and metaphorical messages, making us contemplate our relationship with our environments today. by Kim Jia