Lin, Maya Ying

Lin, Maya Ying

(mī`ə), 1959–, American architect and sculptor, b. Athens, Ohio. Lin is known for her visual poetry and sensitive mingling of highly abstract form with meaning. From an artistically distinguished Chinese family that immigrated to the United States in the 1940s, Lin was catapulted to prominence while a Yale undergraduate when her magisterially simple design for the Vietnam Veterans MemorialVietnam Veterans Memorial,
war memorial in Washington, D.C., built 1982. Designed by the American sculptor and architect Maya Ying Lin, it is a sloping, V-shaped, 493-ft (150-m) wall of highly polished black granite that descends 10 feet (3.
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 in Washington, D.C. (completed 1982) won a national competition. She cemented her status as a major figure with her sculptural design for the Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery, Ala. (1989), and a monument commemorating coeducation at Yale (1991). She also has undertaken other kinds of architectural projects, e.g., several private houses, and the Museum of African Art (1993) and a huge clock at Pennsylvania Station (1994), both in New York City. In 2001 she began the Confluence Project, an ecology-based seven-part installation along the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon that commemorates sites where the Lewis and Clark expeditionLewis and Clark expedition,
1803–6, U.S. expedition that explored the territory of the Louisiana Purchase and the country beyond as far as the Pacific Ocean. Purpose
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 met with Native American groups. Lin has continued her environmental art with several earthwork projects, notably her Wave Field (2008), an 11-acre (4.5-hectare) work consisting of seven grassy, undulating hills at New York's Storm King Art CenterStorm King Art Center,
sculpture park and museum in Mountainville, N.Y., some 55 mi (89 km) north of New York City. Founded in 1960, it comprises 500 acres (202 hectares) of lawns, fields, hills, and forests, which provide a unique backdrop for sculpture, and a Norman-style
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. She also designs furniture, and her sculpture has been widely exhibited.

Bibliography

See her Boundaries (2000); Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (documentary film, 1995).