Sunday, March 1, 2015

Maya Lin: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Architecture, Biography, Design (2000)

2 comments:

Tim Nolan said...

Maya Ying Lin (born October 5, 1959) is an American designer and artist who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art. She came to fame as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and has gone on to pursue a remarkable career in art and architecture, while continuing her interest in memorials.

In 1981, at age 21 and while still an undergraduate, Lin won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1,441 other competition submissions.[9] The black cut-stone masonry wall, with the names of 57,661 fallen soldiers carved into its face,[10] was completed in late October 1982 and dedicated on November 13, 1982.[11] The wall is granite and V-shaped, with one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Monument.[10]

Lin's conception was to create an opening or a wound in the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of the soldiers. The design was initially controversial for what was an unconventional and non-traditional design for a war memorial. Opponents of the design also voiced objection because of Lin's Asian heritage.[8][12][13] However, the memorial has since become an important pilgrimage site for relatives and friends of the American military casualties in Vietnam, and personal tokens and mementos are left at the wall daily in their memory.[14][15] In 2007, the American Institute of Architects ranked the memorial #10 on their list of America's Favorite Architecture.

Lin believes that if the competition had not been "blind", with designs submitted by number instead of name, she "never would have won". She received harassment after her ethnicity was revealed. Prominent businessman and later third party presidential candidate Ross Perot called her an "egg roll" after it was revealed that she was Asian.[16] Lin defended her design in front of the United States Congress, and eventually a compromise was reached. A bronze statue of a group of soldiers and an American flag was placed off to one side of the monument as a result of the war.

Lin, who now owns and operates Maya Lin Studio in New York City, went on to design other structures, including the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama (1989) and the Wave Field at the University of Michigan (1995).[17]

Tim Nolan said...

In 1994, she was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. The title comes from an address she gave at Juniata College in which she spoke of the monument design process. Talking about the origin of her work, Lin says "My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings and this can include not just the physical but the psychological world that we live in".[6]

According to Maya Lin, art should be an act of every individual willing to say something new and that which is not quite familiar.[6] When a project comes her way, she tries to "understand the definition (of the site) in a verbal before finding the form. To understand what a piece is conceptually and what its nature should be even before visiting the site."

In 1999, Lin exhibited Il Cortile Mare (1998), furniture design, maquettes and photos of works at the American Academy in Rome, Italy.[18]

In 2000, Lin re-emerged in the public life with a book entitled Boundaries.[19] Also in 2000, she agreed to act as the artist and architect for the Confluence Project, a series of outdoor installations at historical points along the Columbia River and Snake River in the states of Washington and Oregon. This is the largest and longest project that she has undertaken so far.[20]

In 2002, Lin was elected Alumni Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University (upon whose campus sits another of Lin's designs: the Women's Table – designed to commemorate the role of women at Yale University), in an unusually public contest. Her opponent was W. David Lee, a local New Haven minister and graduate of the Yale Divinity School who was running on a platform to build ties to the community with the support of Yale's unionized employees. Lin was supported by Yale's President Richard Levin, other members of the Yale Corporation, and was the officially endorsed candidate of the Association of Yale Alumni.

In 2003, Lin served on the selection jury of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition. A trend toward minimalism and abstraction was noted among the entrants, finalists, and the chosen design for the World Trade Center Memorial.

In 2005, Lin was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. In the same year,[21] she also designed the new plaza that anchors the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Lin