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[Theme of this lssue] Pei-Ying Lin: How to Tame the Virus?

Special Guest Editor: 

Jo Wei (Researcher of Art,Science and Technology at China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Curator)

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Virophilia|Peiying Lin|2018

Artist Pei-Ying Lin has always regarded the relationship between humans and viruses (microorganisms) as the main focus of her work and has been deeply exploring it. In 2016, she won the Bio Art & Design Award in the Netherlands, this award supported three winning artists to work in the labs of their own creative fields, with 25,000 euros awards to produce their works. Lin decided to work with the Viroscience lab at the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, her work included writings, installations, and videos, aiming to envision how human could tame the virus like taming a wild beast and eventually live with it in peace.

In one of the central pieces, “The Virus Tamer’s Manifesto”, the artist proposed several key topics that encompass making choices: Human and Nature (whether the human is part of nature or not); the position of virus (whether the virus is like a wild beast that needs to be tamed or an enemy that needs to be defeated); individual and the human species as a whole (whether the individual is part of the human species, or individuality is above all); choices (should the rights of choice based on humankind as a whole, or should it prioritize the individual); humans as the habitat of the virus (the virus is reproduced through human, should it be eliminated or to coexist with it). Each of these choices concerns the positioning of humans on earth, of the individual among the group, and of oneself as an individual. Though the topics are about the virus, they reflect the mind of humans. 

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Virophilia|Pei-ying Lin|2018

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Virophilia|Pei-ying Lin|2018

Another work of Lin, “Virophilia” makes one step forward in the discussion of the human-virus relationship and goes beyond visual art itself. Apart from reading text and looking at the works, the audiences were able to experience and reflect on the topics through taste and touch, as a large part of the work devotes to performance and tasting dinners on the theme of “virus and food”. At the 2019 exhibition“Quasi-Nature”, Lin wrote a cookbook for “Virophilia”, imagining herself being in the year 2068, as she wrote in the foreword of the cookbook: 

As the time comes to the 21st century, we have rediscovered that “bacteria are directly and only correlated with diseases” were problematic, hence the discussion around probiotics and microbiomes. Between the beginning of the study of microbiology and our turn-over understanding of bacteria, there are about 200 years in between. 

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Virophilia|Pei-ying Lin|2018

Another work of Lin, “Virophilia” makes one step forward in the discussion of the human-virus relationship and goes beyond visual art itself. Apart from reading text and looking at the works, the audiences were able to experience and reflect on the topics through taste and touch, as a large part of the work devotes to performance and tasting dinners on the theme of “virus and food”. At the 2019 exhibition “Quasi-Nature”, Lin wrote a cookbook for “Virophilia”, imagining herself being in the year 2068, as she wrote in the foreword of the cookbook: 

As the time comes to the 21st century, we have rediscovered that “bacteria are directly and only correlated with diseases” were problematic, hence the discussion around probiotics and microbiomes. Between the beginning of the study of microbiology and our turn-over understanding of bacteria, there are about 200 years in between. 

Related Person

Pei-Ying Lin

Exhibition&Activities&Projects
Project UNArt 2020 #1:Agape from Viruses 2020.07.22-10.22
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