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Maya Lin

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Contemporary Art 2014-2015
Photo of Maya Lin

During the course of her remarkable career Maya Lin has created a powerful and highly influential body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials.

In her site-specific installations such as A Fold in the Field (2013) and the epoch-making Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982), she has consistently explored how we experience and relate to landscape, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history and language. Her studio artworks, which have been shown in solo and group exhibitions all over the world, often build on advanced technological methods of visualising geographic features to inspire a deeper relationship between the viewer and the natural world. Her architectural projects are largely undertaken at the request of non-profit institutions and include the Museum for Chinese in America (2009) in New York City and the Riggio-Lynch Interfaith Chapel (2004) and Langston Hughes Library (1999) in Clinton, Tennessee.

A committed environmentalist, Lin is now working on what she anticipates will be her final redefinition of the memorial. What Is Missing? focuses on the current crisis of biodiversity and directs attention not toward the past but the future, and the potential for saving species and habitats. An ongoing multisite work, What Is Missing? exists in scientific institutions, as a website and as a book. It premiered in its first iteration at the California Academy of Sciences in 2009 with a sound and media sculpture installation.

Lin serves on the boards of the Bloomberg Foundation, Museum of Chinese in America and What is Missing? Foundation. She is an honorary board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council and a former member of the Yale Corporation and the Energy Foundation. She sat on the jury that selected the design of the World Trade Center Site Memorial and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

She is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Presidential Design Award, the Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the William A. Bernoudy Resident in Architecture Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, the Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an AIA Honor Award and the Finn Juhl Prize.

Maya Lin has received honorary doctorates from a number of universities across America. In 2005 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and in 2009 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Last year she received the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

In 1996 a documentary about her work called Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

During the course of her visit to Oxford Maya Lin will be giving a public lecture called 'Between art and architecture'. The details for this can be found here.