His work focuses on finding community-based solutions to ecological and socio-political crises, as well as linking cross-cultural aesthetics and complex ideas.
The exhibition features 70 pieces from Chin’s nearly four decades of artistic practice as well as three new ambitious commissions. The pieces include paintings, sculptures, public works, drawings, documentation, videos and installations. “All Over the Place” is scattered amongst exhibition sites around the city in places like the Queens Museum, Times Squares and the Broadway-Lafayette subway station.
“All Over the Place” is curated by Queens Museum Director Laura Raicovich, and Manon Slome, co-founder and chief curator of No Longer Empty.
“Flint Fit,” “Unmoored,” and “Wake” are Chin’s three new commissioned projects. In “Flint Fit,” which is the only new piece to be featured in Queens, Chin organized a “complex triangulation of places and processes” by showcasing the thousands of empty plastic water bottles that residents of Flint, Michigan have been forced to use due to their polluted water supply. The bottles will be collected and sent to a processing facility in North Carolina where they will be transformed into thread and fabric. Fashion designer Tracy Reese will then create a collection based on water from the fabric.
Reese’s creations will be brought to life with the help from Flint nonprofit Saint Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center, which is dedicated to finding local employment for women. The nonprofit will oversee the sewing and manufacturing of the garments via their commercial sewing program.
The Flint Fit Collection will be unveiled at a fashion show at the Unisphere outside the Queens Museum in the future, and the prototypes will be on display alongside a model of Flint’s watershed, made by Chin, and the Museum's watershed model of New York City. Chin’s “All Over the Place” will be displayed at the Queens Museum from April 8, 2018 to August 12, 2018.
“Mel Chin is deeply deserving of this sprawling city-wide celebration of his work,” Raicovich said. “Works like Flint Fit, which deliver sustainable solutions while confronting devastating social and political conditions, send a powerful message.”
“We live in turbulent times where reminders of climate change and socio-economic instability must be addressed and artists such as Mel Chin provide new ways to see these circumstances and take action,” she added.