Lin Xu

Artist Statement

Visual art is a complex form of creativity and imagination that is essential to being human. I am particularly interested in subconscious and intuition, often undervalued, they are important portions of human knowledge gained through art making.

For me, art making is a mind-stimulating process of creating beautiful and meaningful things with my hands. Every man-made object is a visual representation of the maker’s mind reflected upon the physical material. It is a visual record of our consciousness, memory, dream, and imagination. It possesses a language that is not translatable into words. In my work, I aim to transcend cultural boundaries, political ideologies, and religious dogmas, to demonstrate, metaphorically, that humanity, nature and the powers that govern the universe are intrinsically one.

My ceramic work is very process-based. It is an ongoing appreciation and exploration of the material’s physical potential. Clay is humble yet stubborn, generous yet challenging material offers endless possibilities. I work with a very wide range of clay bodies, surface treatments, and firing methods. My works range from large-scale installation to small sculptures. Universal symbols and subjects closely related to the human body interest me the most. Subjects such as shadow, pillow, Chinese symbolism, and the metamorphic qualities of clay have been my continuous focus in the past ten years.

Much of my work is an attempt to provide the viewer with an environment that has no confusions. I want to create a peaceful place to contemplate and explore, to reclaim the meanings that have been long ignored, forgotten or lost. In a world that is constantly changing with incredible leaps in technology, life is full of everything except for meanings. As material prosperity increase, serenity, peace, and happiness have decreased and been replaced by fear, violence, uncertainty and the breakdown of values. I am constantly questioning the connection of our mind and body, the meaning of peace, beauty, its origin, and the essence of our knowledge about life. Ideas come and go, loosely and lucidly; I allow my hands to take me to new places as objects take forms before my eyes. For me, the ultimate goal of art making is to achieve a true harmony with the materials; and to bring out their most beautiful and lively aspects; without using words.

-- Lin Xu


Lin Xu is a Chinese Canadian ceramic artist living in Brandon, Manitoba. She holds an MFA degree from Washington State University, a BVA degree in ceramics from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (Australia), and a BSc. from Jilin University (China), with a focus in Packaging Engineering and Design.

Lin was born in Inner Mongolia mainland China, to radio/computer scientist parents who were transferred to the rural region as a result of the Cultural Revolution. The family relocated to Beijing when Lin was 12 years old.

Lin Xu came to Canada in 2004, when she was offered a full-time faculty position to establish the new ceramics facility and program within the new Visual and Aboriginal Art department at Brandon University and has been teaching there since.

Lin has shown her work in Australia, Canada, the USA, China, Spain, and France. She was awarded grants as an established professional artist from both Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

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