Profile: Lin Hsin Hsin

Published on 7 November 2015

Digital pioneer Lin Hsin Hsin creates interdisciplinary art based on foundations of science.

BY PAMELA HO

“I’m a digital native not because I was born in the 1980s, but because I’ve done everything digitally since the ’80s,” says Singaporean digital pioneer Lin Hsin Hsin, who in 2007 became the first person in the world to create three-dimensional (3D) art using only mathematical equations.

Her equation-based 3D artworks include Balinese facemasks, kimonos, furniture and human forms, which can be fabricated directly using 3D printing — something she’s been practising since 1999.

Her foray into the digital realm began as early as 1985, the same year she was awarded a Silver Medal for her non-digital artworks from Société des Artistes Français in Paris. “I was practising contemporary art, but because I’m deeply rooted in mathematics and computer science, I couldn’t wait to move into the digital. There was no transition, it was all natural,” recounts Lin, who holds degrees in mathematics and computer science.

On 7 September 1994, the award-winning artist publicly declared she would no longer use any non-digital tools to create 2D or 3D art. “I am very pleased that I’m totally eco-friendly!” she quips.

That same year, she founded the first virtual museum in the world — the Lin Hsin Hsin Art Museum — which has since garnered several awards. In 1996, she was named one of 200 cyber personalities in the 24 Hours in Cyberspace worldwide project.

“The process of creating ‘art’ is a science,” claims Lin. “It is no more than a human thought, manifested as an expression, defined by an image, in either a 2D or 3D space.”

This philosophy that ‘science is the governor of art’ has been liberating for her. Using technology and scientific principles, she has created digital Chinese calligraphy, digital Western oil painting, and in June this year, digital performances on Android, which she premiered at the University of Oxford.

Lin describes her work as being interdisciplinary. Not only has she composed music, she has painted it! Her Abstraction in Music series is her interpretation of music on canvas. In 2003, she created virtual musical instruments, including the didgeridoo, Brazilian berimbau and pseudo human voices.

To date, she has held 16 solo exhibitions around the world and participated in over 220 exhibitions in 64 cities across 26 countries. Her works can be found in private, public and museum collections globally. What’s more, she’s authored 75 books, including 10 books on poetry.

Her creativity knows no boundaries in cyberspace. When asked what her role in the digital revolution is, she declares unabashedly, “I lead.”

To find out more about Lin’s works, visit www.lhham.com.sg.

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