Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Candice Lin

Artist - Ambitious and unpredictable artist addressing gender, race, sexuality and cultural deviance

85 in 2023

  • 202385
  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
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  • 2007
  • 2006
Photo: Georgia Arnold

Opium poppies, cactus tinctures, dead bats, turmeric, stuffed iguanas, lard, fungi – Lin’s uniqueness could be asserted solely through her installations’ components. The Los Angeles-based artist uses her unconventional tools (as well as sculpture, painting, video and templelike presentation formats) to reveal clandestine connections across space and time, and to address, as she’s put it, ‘notions of cultural, gendered and racial difference, rampant sexualities and deviant behaviour’; all of which results in a practice that appropriates and upends modes of presentation often found in natural history exhibitions. Pigs and Poison (2020) interlinked the history of biological warfare, the Opium Wars, indentured Chinese slavery in the US and anti-Asian sentiment in the wake of COVID-19; this year’s installation Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory folded ghost stories and reports of Asian women experiencing demonic possession in electronics factories into a sprawling, object- and video-driven narrative in which horny spirits haunt a lithium battery factory. Lin’s work is a timely guide for how ambitious and unpredictable contemporary art can be.

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