Mel Chin (b. 1951, Houston, TX) is a conceptual artist is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Chin received a B.S. from Peabody College, Nashville, TN. His work has been widely exhibited nationally, and internationally, including at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY; The Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA; Swarthmore College, Philadelphia, PA; Station Museum, Houston, TX; Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY; Museum Het Domein, Sittard Netherlands; Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne, Germany; The Nave Museum, Victoria, TX; Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC; and New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, among others. Chin has received many grants and awards, including those from National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, among others, and several honorary doctorates. Chin lives in Egypt Township, North Carolina.
Chin is well-known for his iconic sculptures and installations, works that often address the importance of memory and collective identity, and for inserting art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and most recently, for working with advanced augmented reality (AR) technology, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. A 10-year effort, called Fundred, focuses on the value of individual representation and its capacity to push for the prevention of childhood lead-poisoning through art-making.
For No Longer Empty’s 2012 exhibition: This Side of Paradise, Mel Chin produced a re-creation of his video S.O.S., originally made in 2004. For the 2012 version, Chin and his team returned to the diverse neighborhoods of the Bronx capturing their cardio sound tracks and messages from the pavement to the president. S.O.S Reloaded: Bronx 2012 recorded the residents’ reactions, both intellectually and physically, to this same question, eight years later addressed then-President Barack Obama. The result is a remarkably intimate and honest portrait of the Bronx and its diverse residents. A copy of this video was been sent to President Obama.