Lin Yingchun: Con­ser­va­tor of arts in NJ

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

HONG XIAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Lin Yingchun

HONG XIAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ne­wark Mu­seum

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