Windows, an exhibit

In a new series of painting and textile sculpture, Lia Min ones again explores new territory at the boundary of art and science.

As a research fellow jointly sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Life Sciences Institute and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, Min divides her time between the studio and lab, exploring the interplay of science and art and examining Western and Eastern approaches to understanding and knowledge.

Her new work, titled <Windows>, will be exhibited in the LSI lobby starting in late September 2015.

Writing about the work, Min says:

This series of paintings started out as a study of complex emotions that are present in interpersonal relationships.  The four pieces correspond to pity, sympathy, empathy, and compassion. The landscape paintings on the front are composed based on gestures that the artist associates each concept with — for instance, the composition for compassion was conceived from one of Buddhist hand gestures (Abhaya). The paintings are a personal narration of what it feels like to be under these emotions. On the opposite side is a series of compositions created with red yarn and colored threads. A different approach from the landscape paintings, where symbols and narration plays the center role, these compositions break down each emotion into common elements — strings and their tension, to spell out each word. Small openings are made in the paintings to merge the two sides.   

Making this piece led to the discovery of the point where two different practices come together within me. A novel research idea was organized and is being pursued, which aims to investigate the pattern of neuronal connections in the sensory nervous system and how it varies in different individuals to result in subjectivity and individual perspectives. 

A one-year extension for this fellowship was granted to investigate 1) the structural variance in sensory neural networks between individuals, and 2) the potential of using sculpture as a means of communicating information about complex networks.