Candice Lin, an assistant professor at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, is having her work “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping” exhibited at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The site-specific installation was co-organized by the center and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University. In this work, Lin investigates the legacies of colonialism, racism and sexism by mapping the trade routes and histories of a range of colonial goods.

Anchored by a nomadic tent structure — simultaneously a temporary shelter and a quasi-religious temple — the exhibition includes hand-drawn and hand-printed indigo textiles, hand-built ceramic sculptures, plaster and concrete “tactile theaters,” and a video animation that leads visitors through qigong breathing and movement exercises.

Cats abound in the gallery space. From ceramic cats found curled up inside the tent to the video’s animated cat demon, the exhibition proposes an animist worldview — one that asks the viewer to shift their focus from the human to the more-than-human world. 

Lin’s practice utilizes installation; drawing; video; and living processes such as mold, plants, mushrooms, bacteria, fermentation and stains. By looking at physical material, the work promotes new ways to understand racialized, sexualized and gendered narratives about contamination, authenticity, and mattering.