• Isaiah Lawrence

Time Lin Experiments With Time In His Art

Time Lin (born in 1960) showcased his artistic ability in early childhood, where throughout elementary school and junior high school, he successfully won 1st prize in every year’s art contest. Lin was selected in the “Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition” after his first submission. More impressive, he took regular classes in school. Such a feat can make overgrown men jealous; children look up, inspired. Mr. Ru SongXiao, truly admired by his artwork, mentioned him as “a genius ever seen in forty years.”


Despite his artistic strengths, being a full-time painter in Taiwan was unpromising, but he resorted to making pipe dreams look like fairytales, becoming established. Nobody truly knows when a living artist’s prime is, but Lin’s work is constantly improving. Due to his unpromising future as an artist, he enlisted himself in the military service. After the army, he pursued a career in the advertising industry, being artistically promoted from the designer, to art director, to producer, to creative director.


Once 2010 hit, he was 50, learning how to paint all over again. To this day, he is polishing his craft. In 2013, his oil paintings were selected by the Art Mirai International Art Exhibition at National Art Center (in Tokyo), the Royal West of England Academy, and the Salon d'Automne in Paris. More than a painter, he created ceramic works. His ceramic works were selected at the Zijin Art Ceramic Award in China.


In 2019, Time Lin took 3rd place at the “2019 American Art Awards” in the category of “Abstract Expressionism”. In the same year, he’s managed to win 1st place in 2019 (with a fantasy landscape painting “Falling Time”) for the “American Art Awards.” Also in that year, he won the “Italian Botticelli International Prize” in Florence, Italy. He was a finalist at the “Taiwan Annual 2020.”


Ever since December, Time has held 10 solo exhibitions and participated in 29 group exhibitions. His name is “Time Lin” because he considers time to be art. As a consistent artist, he uses the concept of time as the core focus to be placed in his art, constantly challenging himself. His domestic and international contribution in competitions broadens perspectives, toorder to pursue new, beautiful and good works of art.


From his painting titled, “20190309” (4th place at the “2019 American Art Awards), there’s a dramatic, yet, powerful piece. The naked male subject (with a sturdy physique) has his significant other hoisted up, where she wraps one leg around his waist, aiming her feet the same direction. Both of her feet are pointed to the left in a beautifully made martial arts pose, overlapping various parts of the couple. The orange and yellow background has some visible brushstroke like “Swoosh” sound effects from comic books. It’s like visible wind, making the light blue couple of the painting appear like the wind. One bluish-green brushstroke is like a sideways lowercase letter “m” in the background, where part of the letter “ is overlapping pass the man’s right leg, zooming to the foreground.


Appearing like a bed sheet or garment, the woman is wearing something, which is the same color as her body. That has to mean that her garment went with her when she died with her significant other. The couple Lin created in this piece appears inseparable, to the point where the woman’s hand and body is permanent attached to his.


20190309” 72.5x60.5x2cm. ©. 2019-2020. All Rights Reserved.


Being perfectly honest, the painting “Falling Time,” doesn’t look like a painting, but a detailed anime picture. In the viewer’s subconscious mind, they may think, “Falling Time” was created with computer graphics from photo editing and manipulation software. To know he painted it such a complex subject can put them in awe. How creative Lin is, his viewers may be intimidated or inspired to copy his style in some way (possibly making derivative versions hidden in their closet), but Lin makes it look effortless. There’s two fish in front of what could be a whirlpool or a space-time vortex. The space-time vortex is decorated like the folds to a curtain with patterns of curvy lines. In addition, there’s flowers surrounding the possible space-time vortex, floating colorfully on the water, adding a romantic time of falling.


Lin captures many metaphors into this one painting. Like the joy of fish and water, Tai Chi’s two fish, (one yin and one yang, two powers that complement each other) interact with each other and work with each other, containing the principle of the formation of the universe. In the universe, the combination of yin and yang can nurture the truth of life, but why the combination? Because of the power of love. Because of love, the two people fall into a finite time, but they are endless descendants.


Falling Time” 162x96.5x5cm. ©. 2018.


Taking a look at his oil on canvas piece called, “Foreplay Time”, it looks beyond exceptional. What I really mean is it looks like a masterpiece, but Lin is so talented that if he’s a perfectionist, that side shows in his work. While he’s remarkably talented at painting, only he knows how to use visual vocabulary to create perceptual metaphors with overtones.


“Foreplay Time” appears like pink bedsheet on a square shaped mattress, with creases (on the bottom left side) formed in the details of mountains. The creases are not only the knot and release of lust, but also the memory curves of good times. It’s a 3-dimensional piece where two birds are in midair near the clouds. This artwork could, from my interpretation, be a metaphor for experiencing bliss when you’re in the bed.


Maybe the two birds symbolize two couples and they’re mating. The two birds are passionately kissing, (while one is upside down) where they both form a heart in the middle. If you don’t look closely at the painting, you may miss the extra added romantic detail of the heart between the birds. I think the birds are in a state of peace where the bedsheet represents a symbol of comfort, the mountains represent beauty, and the clouds represent freedom.


Foreplay Time” National Art Exhibition at Taiwan Museum of Fine Art ©. 2017. All Rights Reserved.

The painting titled, “20190321” looks like a customized, purple blanket formed into art. This piece was painted, which makes it more special, showing how well-verses he is with using texture. The man is on his knees holding up the woman over his head, which takes an enormous amount of upper body strength. There’s many wrinkles in blankets and the illusion of what the man is holding up can look like many things.


From the artist himself, Lin, says had some words about the painting, saying, “Love is a time of oneness! This work wants to express that if there is true love between husband and wife or lovers, body and mind are one and inseparable no matter where they are.”


20190321” 72.5x60.5x2cm. ©. 2019-2020. All Rights Reserved.


What I like about the painting, “Swing Time” is that it captures a childlike expression of freedom. To me, it’s a brilliant representation of traveling the world. The girl has what appears like a Roman Numeral clock version of a halo (where illuminated lights shine above her head. As she swings, the numbers could represent that time is always moving and she only gets to be young for so long. According to Lin, he imagines “the time girl does not rise or fall with the sun. Day and night, he sees her up and down, from far to near, from near to far, swing back and forth, ‘Always sing clearly One little, Two little, Three little Indian…’”


Time Lin’s focus on an animated character is what makes the artwork much more enjoyable. He captures the vine like from a Tarzan movie. Verbatim, in Lin’s words, “The little girl swayed happily. Everything on the earth, including the buildings constructed by humans, were just things that would collapse in the universe, and it seemed unimportant to her.”


Maybe the girl is time traveling. This painting looks like the embodiment of the Eureka Effect, where you can discover a previously incomprehensible problem or concept. That’s probably the reason why the time traveler makes viewers want to analyze the painting. In Lin’s words, “It is completely at her own pace, just like time keeps going forward, always keeping a young heart, and will not stop.”


Time Lin does tend to experiment with the theme of time in art.“Swing Time” actually looks like a movie scene, but only the child actress is breaking the 4th wall (in the world of theater, where a character is aware of their fictionality, by either directly or indirectly addressing the audience). The child time traveller appears to be smiling, but looks like there’s more to the scene she wants to express.


Swing Time” Oil on canvas. ©. 2015. All Rights Reserved.


A painting that expresses from my opinion, a dominant symbol of rebellion is “New Year Time”. People who often conform to society are sheep, but the sheep in this painting is a human face in sheep clothing. It’s like the person is wearing a sheep costume at the same time a being half human. So as he’s time traveling from his signature Roman Numeral clock art style for characters, he is being free.


The half-human is possibly hopping over the fence to become a human again or to stay committed to his New Year’s Resolution. Whatever the reason may be, the character looks excited to hop over the fence.


The legend in China: sheep are the auspiciousness that wanders the earth. Time is transformed into a sheep on New Year’s Eve. In the new year of the sheep, in the spring season, people will be proud, and the story will begin...


New Year Time”91x72.5cm. ©. All Rights Reserved. 2015. All Rights Reserved.

On a circular canvas, there’s a painting that could belong in an astrophysics movie, called, “Birth,” which is a lifelike, yet sends me a dreamlike feeling. While the stars are far in the background, the light pops out, more noticeable than the trees on the side. The meaning behind this painting, in Lin’s words are that, “The universe was flushed with anger, and a baby popped out. It was strange that the baby did not cry, but excitedly screamed and embraced the new world with all his strength.”

Knowing the meaning behind the painting makes me think about how the seconds-old baby was introduced to the expanding universe. The constellations are so far away, but appear to be within close proximity. Everything we know about the universe seems to be right, until we learn more about it.



Birth” with the caption ‘oil on canvas.’ ©. 2012. All Rights Reserved.

One of Lin’s sensational mix media pieces is “20190721,” which captures the subject of love and the time the couple experiencing on Earth. Time is always moving, but as we all know with time, people age. Lin’s fascination with time is ongoing, yet clever. The silhouette of the couple are intimately touching, in a hugging position.


While there’s a silhouette, Lin makes the background visible through the couple, adding visible lining for details. The little hand and big hand is actually on the on the mix media and a circle for a clock design is surely appropriate choice. Quite possibly, the couple is kissing in front of the moon because if you look closely, you can see what appears like a moon in the background. Also, overshadowing the moon are the vivid hues of red, yellow, and orange, which could represent the sun. So, basically, the couple is enjoying time together from dusk till dawn and possibly forever.


20190721.” ©. 2019. All Rights Reserved.


If you’re interested in contacting Time Lin and/or being updated on his latest projects, here’s his contact information:


Website: https://www.timelin.space

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timelinspace/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timelinspace/

Work Cites:


Lin, Time. Time Lin Space. 2021.

Lin, Time. Instagram: timelinspace. 2021.

Lin, Time. Facebook. Time Lin Space. 2021.


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