Sherman Lin

Falling Mountains No 81 Ink & Mixed Media on Paper 27” x 27”

Falling Mountains No 17 Ink & Mixed Media on Paper 38” x 34.5”

Born in Si Kuai, China in 1954, Sherman Lin holds dual citizenship, often traveling between the country of his birth and Coquitlam, Canada, his more recent home. Lin graduated from the China Central Academy of Arts and Crafts in Beijing, where he developed as a painter and designer, incorporating Eastern and Western elements into his work. Interested in tribal arts from a young age, Lin seeks to communicate with simple but effective form language, approaching the world frankly yet representing it with abstraction. “I try to communicate with nature through my understanding of original icons and images,” Lin says. “In doing so I build a celestial ladder connecting spirit and nature.”

Lin left China in 1987, concerned by the effects of globalization and the imminent collision of cultural values. Nearly half a decade later, he was able to return and forge connections with artists, designers, and business people who shared their observations of the social, political, and economic changes that had occurred. Searching for a way to articulate his own feelings, Lin began to paint with Western acrylics on traditional Chinese rice paper. “I have created a unique language structure and spiritual framework consisting of contradictory yet harmonious elements such as yin and yang, firmness and flexibility, reality and fantasy,” Lin says. “I respond to nature with a brand new, unique, and personalized visual structure.”

Sherman in his studio

In 2006, Lin travelled to Sichuan and Tibet, where he painted at a height of 5,000 meters. Due to the altitude, he suffered pneumonedema followed by acute left heart failure, which almost took his life. After his recovery, Lin began interpreting the world through art languages. “I have always focused on the relationship between human and nature,” Lin says. “Human and nature are integrated, but while nature is permanent, our lives are transient.”