" I felt that the nightscape is mysterious and very often more attractive than the day scene because of the strong contrast between the light and darkness. The nightscape is mysterious and more beautiful as things are not so clear and the darkness covered up the imperfectness and with the help of light the scene becomes dramatic. Also, light is the symbol of hope. The light shine in the darkness makes me feel that there are still hopes in the hopeless world."
Fresh artist Lin Bao-ling: drawing out the beauty of cities
Lin Bao-ling, 30, is a young artist famous in Taiwan as well as places like Singapore and New York for his creative approach to presenting the beauty of urban landscapes. Lin has been described as a "talented" young artist who specializes in portraying the shining lights of cities at night in a semi-abstract way, as well as the beauty of scenes after rain, to present the splendid and dramatic lighting of night in the city. Lin is widely respected among critics and the public for his deeply touching sensitivity.
Many people take Lin Bao-ling for a person of mixed ancestry because of his tall figure, straight nose and slightly pale complexion, but in fact his parents are both Taiwanese, In addition, Lin lived in Taiwan until he was 15 years old, but with an upbringing different from that of most other children. He studied at home, rather than receiving the formal nine years of schooling offered by the national education system.
"Self-study" was very much a radical approach 20 years ago, but Lin's parents were not willing to have Lin and his brother subjected to force-feeding educational methods, so they both studied at home. Although Lin did not have classmates like other kids, he still had a very happy childhood. Lin's parents took the family traveling frequently – for example, they spent four months in the highest temple in Taiwan, and they also lived in Penghu for few months, experiencing a very self-sufficient life all along the way.
Lin's parents allowed their children to develop freely, always encouraging Lin to pursue his interest in painting. In order to allow Lin to broaden his knowledge and improve his English, Lin's parents decided to move to Singapore when he was 15. Lin passed the Cambridge ordinary level examinations in Singapore and entered the LaSalle College of the Arts, majoring in painting.
His college life
For the four years of his college life, Lin looked forward to going to school and doing lots of painting. His classmates all described his creative passion as "hardworking." Lin's unique style and talent were revealed early in his college period, as he won the "Travelogue Practice" prize from Winston Oh Travel in 2004. In 2005 he was awarded the "Della Butcher" prize for outstanding performance, and in 2006 he won the highly regarded 25th UOB Painting of the Year award.
Lin has been invited to participate in several exhibitions, and has displayed his works individually in prestigious art galleries in Singapore and Malaysia. In March 2007 Lin held his first solo exhibition, "Nocturne", in Plastique Kinetic Worms, and was invited to become a permanent artist. In the same year, he held his second solo exhibition "Nocturne II" in Singapore's Connoisseur Artwork Gallery. In 2007 he was invited to serve as artist in residence in the highly-regarded Taitung Railway Art Village.
In 2008 Lin returned to Taiwan and entered the Taiwan National University Department of Fine Arts, majoring in ink and wash painting. He felt familiar and friendly with his homeland of Taiwan. He also liked the vibrant creativity he found on the island. For example, there were many more competitions in Taiwan than he had encountered in Singapore, so Lin often participated in contests, winning countless awards and increasing his exposure to the public.
In 2011 Lin won the Vermont Art Village permanent project supported by the Freeman Foundation. He followed that up with his solo exhibition "Nocturne of Winter" in Moulin Rouge. He also traveled to New York to hold an exhibition titled "Snow, Night", showing how deeply he was touched by the experience of his first sight of snow.
Lin's works mainly describe night scenes in cities because his background is strongly related to big cities such as Taipei and Singapore. His painting skill and his familiarity with the artificially prosperous scenery of big cities result in a painting style distinct in its melding of both concrete and abstract methods.
Art experts classify Lin's works as Western abstract oil paintings deeply infused with an atmosphere of traditional ink painting. The contrasts inherent in Lin's works are a product of his deeply unique painting style.
Lin analyzes his works by noting that describes the lights and shadows in a scene, such as the night city full of non-stop flows of light and shadow.
In fact, Lin's paintings reflect the struggle between abstract and concrete that he feels in a personality that is always torn between hope and disappointment. At the same time, the culture and environment of Taiwan have also had a considerable effect on his work. When Lin was studying in Singapore, a Japanese classmate told him, "Your drawing is very 'humid.'"
"Well," he replied, "Taiwan is very humid, isn't it?"
Back in Taiwan for the past three years, Lin's inspirations in painting come from daily life, a practice that creates a lot of resonance with his audience.
Lin's painting style is unique from that of others, but he is still open to trying any possibilities. He plans to get a master's degree and then a Ph.D in art. He also hopes to reach out to China, Europe, and the United States. Lin Bao-ling loves painting so deeply that he will keep drawing as long as he can, and you can be sure that he will continue to bring us more amazing and splendid works in the future.
Lin Bao-ling's blog: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/baoling
Lin Bao-ling's works online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/linbaoling
Lee Gallery: www.leegallery.tw
1F, NO.10, Lane 175, Sec. 1, Da An Road, Taipei, Taiwan