Livien Yin*

Livien Yin (b. 1990, Boston, MA) is a visual artist working in painting and sculpture. In her current work, Yin researches the history of Chinese migration to paint speculative portraits of early immigrants during the years of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943). Her ongoing Paper Suns series is inspired by the Chinese-born “paper sons and daughters” who became U.S. citizens by obtaining forged documents that stated they were children of already citizenized Chinese Americans. The fictionalized portraits reimagine what “paper” identities could have looked like despite the limitations experienced by many at the time. By repurposing imagery from Exclusion era paintings and photographs, Yin visualizes scenes of Chinese immigrants where desire, pleasure, and new camaraderie set the tone.

Yin received her MFA in Art Practice at Stanford University and her BA in Studio Art at Reed College. Recent solo exhibitions include Ka-la-fo-ne-a, Friends Indeed, San Francisco (2022) and Paper Suns, The New Gallery Calgary (2021). Notable group exhibitions include Expanding the Collections, New York Historical Society, New York, NY (2023); The Descendants, curated by Melanie Lum, Micki Meng, and Kevin Poon at K11 MUSEA, Hong Kong (2023); Wonder Women, curated by Kathy Huang; Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles (2022); and Experiments in the Field: Creative Collaboration in the Age of Ecological Concern, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley (2020). Yin’s work is in the permanent collections of the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University; The New York Historical Society, New York; Imina Paula Museum; Brazil; and ICA Miami. She will have her first solo institutional exhibition in 2024 with the Cantor Arts Center.