Candice Lin: Pigs and Poison

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth | 2020

8 August—15 November 2020


Candice Lin

Exhibition Notes:

Pigs and Poison premieres at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery before traveling to partner institutions Times Museum, Guangzhou, and Spike Island, Bristol.

Pigs and Poison at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery was curated by Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh.

  • Candice Lin, A Robot Spoke What My Father Wrote, 2019. Photo Ian Byers-Gamber.

Debuting at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, this survey exhibition brings together newly commissioned and existing works by LA-based artist Candice Lin.

Through her art practice, Lin explores legacies of Chinese migration and the interconnected cultivation of crops like tobacco, sugar cane, poppy, and fungi. Lin looks at how the racialized language around plants and their use in parallel narratives of vitality and contamination.

The stories told weave together the Chinese, American, and British colonial specificities to deliver a complex view of lesser-known histories of Chinese migration that have echoes in New Zealand and uncanny relevance today. In particular, stories of borders and segregation; racial profiling and conspiracy theories; bodies and remedies; viruses and war give unsettling historical context for current conditions. Lin’s approach to conveying marginalised histories is as varied as the stories themselves, encompassing: virtual reality, sculpture, drawing, and large-scale installation.


Candice Lin (b. 1979, Concord, Massachusetts) works in Altadena, California. She received her BA in visual arts and semiotics from Brown University, in 2001, and MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute, in 2004. Her work has been exhibited at Pitzer College, California, USA (2020); Banff Centre, Canada (2019); Portikus, Frankfurt (2018); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017); Bétonsalon—Center for Art and Research, Paris (2017); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2017); New Museum, New York (2017); SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York (2017); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2016); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013), among others. She is the recipient of several residencies, grants, and fellowships, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2019), Davidoff Artist Residency (2018), Louis Tiffany Comfort Foundation Award (2017), Delfina Foundation Artist in Residence (2014), Fine Arts Work Center Residency (2012), and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2009).