Lin Yen-Liang

Intuitive portraits full of curiosity

Lin Yen-Liang (he/him) is a Tawianiese artist born in 1987. Today, he lives and works in Taiwan.

Studio

Just like the figures in his paintings, Lin Yen-Liang has a strong bond with animals. In the studio, his pet birds and cat roam the place freely and proudly – and they often make appearances in his art.

Public Art

In 2018 Yen-Liang did a residency in the city of Taichung. While there he turned one of his signature dog sculptures into a permanent outdoor display.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Lin Yen-Liang paints endearing portraits of children and animals – each character has their own personality and flare. Sometimes they’re excited, shy or joyful. Sometimes cheeky and mischievous. Whatever the scenario, their expressive faces always tell a story. This is something that comes naturally to Yen-Liang. During his process, he sketches out storyboards like a comic strip or film plot. Plus, his cartoonish style has the charm of a children’s book or animation. Fittingly, manga and anime have a strong influence on his work, along with painters from the Superflat movement like Yoshitomo Nara. The artist also collects children's toys. Their cute faces and smooth curved edges are palpable throughout Yen-Liang’s practice.

Yen-Liang’s studio is much like his art. It’s busy and playful, but calm. He uses a range of materials which sprawl across tables where he works. There are huge palettes of oil pastels and colouring pencils. Small clay sculptures litter shelves and worktops in various stages of completion. His paint palette, propped up on an easel, is full of different colours too. Each hue is carefully mixed to create the soft, subtle atmosphere in his compositions. On the wall, there are pieces of paper and cardboard where he experiments. This approach to painting and drawing sees them blend seamlessly – as if there’s no difference between the two. For Yen-Liang there isn't. Instead, his intuition leads the way and his art follows.