Lin Yan, born to a distinguished family of artists, grew up in Beijing and left China in 1985 before China’s modernization. She followed her grandfather Pang Xun Qing and mother Pang Tao’s footsteps by studying art in Paris, before moving to the United States in 1986, where she obtained her master’s degree in Fine Art. Her first solo show, Tai Chi in Painting at her graduate school in Pennsylvania, infused Chinese philosophy into her various “constructed paintings”.


Taoist thought remains in Lin Yan’s life and art. She seeks the simplest possible use of elements in her work. Though her forms are often quite minimal and quiet in nature, they are nevertheless filled with complexity and nuance. The foundation of Lin Yan’s large sculptural paper collage is a variety of hand-made paper, traditionally used for Chinese painting and calligraphy. Inspired by old Beijing architecture from her memory and industrial elements in her Brooklyn home, Lin Yan blurs boundaries, embraces conflict, and brings histories both past and present together. Aware of the struggle between humans and nature in the world, she balances this restlessness with the tranquility of her materials.


Lin Yan’s works have been widely shown in galleries and museums, included in recent exhibitions at Museum of Chinese American in America in New York, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, Dresden State Art Collections in Germany, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum in China; reviewed and featured in the New York Times, Art News, Art in America, Art Asia Pacific, Architecture and Art, Elle China, Women of China, World Journal and CCTV, among others. 


Her works are in public collections of the National Art Museum of China, the Pang Xunqin Museum, the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Art in China, the Deutsche Bank Collection and the Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum.