Indepth Arts News: |
"Lin Li: Sydney Coal Loader"
2001-07-06 until 2001-07-28
Woolloomooloo, Sydney, NS,
This is Lin Lis first major work since returning from studying film at CAL Arts on a Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship. The work marks the
tenth anniversary of her immigration from main land China to Australia, and encapsulates a narrative of her personal immigration and settlement
She views it as a palimpsest, writing over ground first occupied by the Koori people, then European settlement, and now the story of a
millennial generation of immigrants. Until 80 years ago all of Sydney’s coal was imported and the work is shot at the derelict Ball’s Head Wharf in
North Sydney where it used to be unloaded. Lin Li makes a metaphorical link between her own journey, and that of the coal itself, and processes of
cultural importation and exchange. The red fabric of the flags she uses seeps between the cracks in the pier, and glows as if ignited, or as if it is igniting
the carbon residue that has settled there. This seems to speak of Lin Li’s ‘ignition’ as an artist in her new country. The red flags are also emblematic of
her Chinese cultural background, and the footage of her struggling against the wind embodies her struggle to marry these two cultural heritages in her
life and practice.