Ling-lin Ku

Making a Way

Making A Way | Freedom
Artists: Ling-lin Ku, Jonathan Pellitteri, David Sparks, Torina Stark

Ling-lin Ku: On her work
Ling-lin Ku: How Coronavirus has affected her practice

My studio is a playground for material alchemy and daydreaming.  I play between digital data and tangible materials. When I was a kid, my twin sister and I would project our imaginations onto mundane things.  In our imaginary world, a simple eraser became a block of butter, a tape dispenser morphed into a snail and a paper cut wound was an opening to a microscopic, animate world. We invented secret languages, imaginative toys, alter egos, and ongoing narratives in an exclusive world that still exists in our adult lives. My installations have become an interpreted simulacrum of the world around me. Through playing with syntax, scale, texture, display and materiality I upend our relationship to the known; the work slip in and out of categorization, creating new contexts to understand objecthood. 
Utilizing digital applications as a drawing medium, my imagination inhabits the edgelessness of the digital realm.  Working within Rhino is like jumping into my own three-dimensional rabbit hole. I create objects that float above our conventional understanding of the physical world, where seemingly familiar objects can have alternate identities. Like the distorted offspring of my sculpture, these digital sketches form a virtual index which I also use as the building blocks for short animations.

My last installation A Fever Called Living bridges fantasy and reality with physical objects that reflect the chaotic static pattering of digital glitches. The works hint at my childhood icons while embodying my current interests in animism, the uncanny, language play, fetishism, and display. Playful arrangements counter sinister undertones and hermetic codes; ruminating on insomnia, crime scenes, childhood, and life detours. I find that working back and forth between my mind and hands, the virtual and the physical, is like wandering without a specific destination- like abandoning the sidewalk for the open field.

Ling-lin Ku’s studio is a playground and an alchemy of the world where she plays in between the digital data and tangible materials through digital fabrication. Born in Taiwan and based in the U.S., she received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. Ling-lin has been exhibited her work in cities ranging from Salzburg (Austria), New York, to Austin and LA, and selected into residencies including International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, Summer Academy in at Salzburg, Austria, Haystack Open Studio Residency, Vermont Studio Center, and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation at New Mexico. She is the recipient of Seebacher Prize in Fine Arts awarded by American Austria Foundation in 2019 and the winner of Umlauf Extended Prize 2020.
Instagram: @linglin_ku