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Mel Chin

Mel Chin’s art employs a wide range of approaches, from unique, idiosyncratic objects to operations that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork. He insists that projects in the public field are dosed with a rigorous pragmatism and an elevated poetic.  Studio work is notably without a signature style resulting in works suffused with a deeply considered restraint or excess to promote an unpredictable aesthetic. His Revival Field (1990) pioneered in the field of "green remediation," the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the GALA Committee, a collective that produced In the Name of the Place a public art project conducted on American prime-time television. 9-11/9-11 (2007) won the Pedro Sienna Award for Animation in Chile. His nationwide initiative Fundred gave tangible form and political value to the voices of 500,000 individuals opposed to the conditions that gives rise to childhood lead-poisoning. He founded S.O.U.R.C.E. Studio (2017) to both enlarge the dialogue and realize sustained engagement with community and environment.

His 2014 ReMatch retrospective curator, Miranda Lash, described his practice as a mutative strategy, depending on concepts to derive the materials of its realization, from actions, to films, to objects, as necessary. In 2018 he presented Unmoored and Wake in Times Square, New York City, creating a visual portal into a future of rising waters and concurrently he had a 40-year-survey exhibition at the Queens Museum, NYC, that Hyperallergic, the online arts magazine, named the best art exhibition of 2018. He is the recipient of many awards, grants, and honorary degrees, including the MacArthur Fellowship, 2019, and election to the The American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2021.