Who are you?
My name is Jinyao Lin. A digital artist / composer from Taiwan. I graduated from National Taipei University of the arts with a bachelor of music (composition) and master of fine art (new media), and a Ph.D of computer science from National Taiwan University. Most precisely I’m a cross-disciplinary artist. After I had my Ph.D I went to National Fine Art School, Paris and Paris 8 University for years as a post-doc researcher teaching the students how to make digital art. Now I am in Taiwan, teaching at National Tainan University of the art and National Taiwan University about digital art and sound. I was also the funder and director of Taiwan Sound Lab.
When did you start making art?
Besides those works during student period, the first exhibition art piece was 2007, called one million heartbeats. It’s an installation with interactive images made by flash (memories). Participants could shake baby bottles to trigger unborn twins to fight each other within a mother’s womb. From then on I started to become a residency artist and stays in many different cities like Paris, Lyon, Auckland, Hong Kong.
Why do you make art?
I like creation. Especially in creating and exploring unknown things. I feel like I need to know many things before exploring the unknown so I learned music/composition, new media and computer science as well. Actually there is no difference to me between them because with those background I know I could be more flexible in using those as material in creating art.
“improviser #54“ by Jinyao Lin (click for audio)
When did you start making generative art?
The first experience of generative art is when I was ten. My parents gave me a computer and I started to learn “basic” computer languages. I learned how to write codes to create images. I don’t know if there was a generative art category that time but I just feel cool and had fun with it. To start as career I think it was 2007 after I had my first piece shown on exhibitions. I was using puredata and Quartz Composer to create images and sound. I was teaching and promoting creative coding in Taipei Contemporary Museum, the famous generative artist ileivoivm was my student learning puredata and soon we became good friends.
Your Distortion City series is one of our favorites on FxHash. How did this project come to be?
This project comes from my multimedia theatre works, talking about hyper speed development of a city and some ridiculous things happen that we totally ignore. A lot of generative coding was used inside the theatre to create a real-time, improvised video to express the present of performers within a technical theatre. When I know there is fxhash first I was thinking to re-present this story by a series of gen art works.
Distortion City #1 and #2 have a much more minimalist approach compared to the lively worlds of #3, #4, #5. Were the first easier to make than the others and which is your favorite?
I was creating them like I’m telling a story inside a theatre. So there should be first an atmosphere created and soon more and more intension revealed afterward. I was thinking to present all of them together in a space and then you could go one after one to see the whole show. The music temple is controlled within those pieces and will go wild after. The original distortion city is very crazy at the end of the show. #1 and #2 is easier to write but it is also risky to become pale. The atmosphere of sound is important to support the minimalist because the code create the variants in sound. This is exactly what I did in the show. #3, #4, #5 is more complicated so I decided to write a tool first. I like #3-5 because they are more humor to me.
Alley was your first big hit on FxHash. It looked drastically different from your other works. What is the story behind Alley?
It started with a trial when I saw many fantastic works on fxhash that artists created different approaches. And I want to explore a new style that bring dramatic perspective into generative art. So I think about those unforgettable memories and try to paint them by creative coding. In Alley I used massive lines to create a scene that between real and unreal, a memory in Hong Kong, especially those days I’m worried about Hong Kong’s democracy. I remember the day I was so exciting to show it to ileivoivm and he gave me some great opinions. Few days later I released it on fxhash and I was so happy that people like it.
After Alley was Forsaken. Some variants are filled with homes and trees other might have a sole pillar. How important was variety on Forsaken?
Continued to Alley the perspective remains important. It started with a memory I had in Hallstatt. The still of the lake in the morning that is unforgettable to me. I started to image solitude situation and stories. Like Robinson Crusoe or The Blue Lagoon and then those varieties came up. Sometimes I dream of something so I wake up to bring them alive. Like the Obelisk and Pyramid. They are my memories when I was in Paris (not Egypt).
What inspired the color choice on Forsaken?
The color of forsaken is actually the time of those forsaken places. From day to evening, midnight and dawn that make the place alive. They gave me a lot of imagination within those colors. I especially like the very dark midnight. I remember when I show it to my mother she said she could not see any thing because it’s too dark. Because I always work very late so I just have very strong feeling about it, so I decide to keep it although people might be confused what they get for the first sight. But it’s great when you stare, it brings more even the vision is less IMO.
Most recently you minted reveal as a gift to the community. Some wonder why are you giving your art away for free?
I’m so happy that I found a community that many people love generative art. It’s not easy especially I start to do this very early but there are always niche people appreciate them in Taiwan. As I learned from ileivoivm about the Tezos community, artists are generous and the most important is the relationship between artists and collectors. I feel like I gain a lot from the community so I have to do something as payback.
How much of your work is improvised VS planned?
The two works “improviser” and “EvilBeanVerse” were created when I tried to make something different and occasionally I found they are interesting. Distortion City Series, Alley and forsaken are planned but I modify the plan all the times. “Reveal” is planned that I want to deliver the Chinese New Year tradition of Taiwan because I am happy to introduce Taiwan to the community. Taiwan is very cool FYI.
What gives your art value?
That’s a good question. I think the value from the engagement between artists and collectors that they all appreciate the same values. I believe the collectors must like what I’m creating and could enjoy them with me. Sometimes I bought my pieces from the market that I like its reveal and the price is affordable. It might be narcissist but they are just like my babies. How could I not like them.
What do you have planned for 2022?
I think I will keep the same path because I’m still a professor and leader of some projects in real life. But I strongly believe the community is getting stronger. More and more people would love generative art. Art and artists are evolving at fxhash so I’d better prepare more research otherwise I have to move to the forsaken island. XD
Yes please keep supporting generative artists and keep this place long living.