Mel Chin is a conceptual artist who works in a variety of mediums on many different kinds of art (installation work, sculpture, painting, drawing, etc). In many of his pieces, he focuses on the idea of transformation, rebirth, and revival. I think a lot of his work does a good job at expressing his idea, particularly his Revival Field. The whole concept of that work is to take the pollution in the soil, plant organisms that can thrive in such pollution in order to clarify the soil. The use of plants very clearly expresses the idea of life and transformation and if you know the type of plants he chose, the concept of transformation is further expressed.
Many of Mel Chin’s works are fairly geometric, but often are juxtaposed with organic elements. Hir geometric tendency reminds me mandalas that Tibeten monks make and I think that connection works well for Chin’s main idea. The thought of mandalas makes me think of Buddhism and the transformation from human to Buddha, from the cycle of rebirth to the release from that cycle. Chin’s work is very centered around the transformation from one idea to another so his geometric tendencies further that concept. He also works in a variety of materials, from plants, to destroyed houses, to video games, to metal work. I think his use of destroyed houses to make art very clearly symbolizes his idea as well as his use of plants as a medium. Individually, I think his mediums work well for his different project in different ways, depending on the meaning of each individual work.
I enjoy Mel Chin’s work for a few reasons. I really like that he works with so many different materials, and a lot of the materials he uses are huge, like when he uses destroyed houses. I also saw an interview with him and I really liked how he looks at his own art. He said that he wanted to make something that would live and exist long after he had gone, and I think that’s an interesting way to look at art making. I’d be very interested in working with Mel Chin because he gets inspiration from so many things and I ‘d really like to learn to do that. He also is very focused on conveying an idea and I think he is very successful at that, so I think I could learn a lot about that for my own art after working with him.