Archipelago — currently in progress

Michael Lin

October 2020–March 2021

Taiwanese contemporary painter and conceptual artist Michael Lin has been commissioned by MOCA to produce a major site-specific spatial painting for the museum’s entrance floor. Transforming the institutional architecture of the public museum, his unconventional paintings invite visitors to reconsider their usual perception of those spaces, and to become an integral part of the work, giving meaning to the museum’s potential as an area for interaction, encounter, and re-creation.

As for many of his monumental painting installations, Lin’s murals at MOCA are being painted by local artists. In a pre-2020 world, representatives from Lin’s studio would be onsite, overseeing the production of these paintings. Under COVID-19 measures, the team is led by Toronto-based artist Vanessa Maltese, with progress check-ins over Zoom with Isabelle Georges at Lin’s studio in Paris, as well as with Lin who is currently in Taiwan.

This process is open for visitors to watch, as the patterns become more intricate and colourful until completion in early November.

The installation, once complete, references archipelago islands, a response to current distancing requirements, as well as providing an optimistic and energetic visual impact for the museum. Each platform consists of painted surfaces that can be walked and sat on, adorned with patterned motifs taken from Taiwanese, Indonesian and quasi Hawaiian textiles.

Archipelago is being produced onsite by:


* The artists were selected via an open call process and are participating in a mentorship with the museum.

Michael Lin is a leading Taiwanese artist whose work has been exhibited internationally in major institutions and international Biennials around the world, including Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; UCCA, Beijing; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Lyon Biennial; Singapore Biennial and the Towada Art Center, Japan.

Michael Lin, Deep Ravine, 2016. Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, Philippines.