Lin Yingchun: Conservator of arts in NJ
Because of her cultural background and linguistic skills, Lin became more and more interested in Asian art while working at Met.
Thanks to the guidance of Donna Strahan, Lin’s mentor at the MET, who was one of the first experts to teach conservation courses in China and continues to lecture widely in Asia, Lin gradually developed a specific focus on conservation of Asian art and eventually Chinese art.
“She is very involved in research on ancient Chinese materials (as one of her many research interests). [For me] as an emerging conservator, her knowledge about ancient materials culture, and her conservation treatment approaches have influenced me greatly,” Lin recalled in an email.
When the Newark museum posted a position for a conservator of Asian art, “I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Lin.
During the interview at the museum, when she saw the grand scale of the Asian collection and knew the incredible value of it, she was convinced that it would be a great professional experience for her.
Less than a month after coming on board at the beginning of April, Lin reached a consensus with Paul on helping promote Asian art.
Paul said they are working on a Yixin exhibition, which will bring contemporary and traditional Yixin artists to the US to work with the museum.
“The attention that the Chinese have been focusing on their cultural heritage is incredible. The amount of investment, the amount of research, that’s been happening in the past ten years is incredible compared to what has been done before,” Lin said.
“From what I know, you cannot export Chinese archeological goods outside the country anymore since there is a lot of protection from a country that wants to preserve its heritage,” she added. “So maybe that also increases the value of what is circulating outside of the country.”
“I’m a combination of at least two cultures — American and Chinese. I feel really fortunate because what I’m doing now, I can learn more about my own cultural heritage and different cultures as well. To me, it’s a privilege and good fortune that I’m able to continue doing what I find very interesting,” said Lin.
Hong Xiao in New York