- MacArthur Fellow 2019
In an expansive body of work ranging from collages, sculptural objects, animated films, and video games to large-scale, collaboratively produced public installations, Mel Chin demonstrates a unique ability to engage people from diverse backgrounds and to utilize unexpected materials and places.
Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951. His art, which is both analytical and poetic, evades easy classification. He is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Chin also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility.
Chin received a BA from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He has served as a visiting professor or fellow at a number of institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology CoLab, George Washington University, the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, and the University of Georgia. Chin’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at such venues as the Queens Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Menil Collection in Houston, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, and he has created installations and public commissions in New York City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Jose, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina, among other national and international sites.
Samples of Mel Chin's work:
Opera of Silence 1988
wood, hog hide, steel, theatrical makeup, paper, bone, ink, plastic
66 x 70 x 67 inches
The Extraction of Plenty from What Remains: 1823 -1989
wood, plaster, pulverized sandstone, whitewash, steel, banana tree fibers, mud, coffee, blood, Honduran mahogany
12 feet x 8 feet 9 inches x 5 feet 8 inches
Wake & Unmoored (Times Square, NYC) 2018
Wake:Wood, steel, fiberglass, electronic and mechanical components, paint 24H x 34W x 60L feet
Unmoored: Digital app for a mixed reality experience