Artist Mel Chin: From Melrose Place to toxic landfills

 

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 5:00am

Houston-based artist Mel Chin opened his March 9 talk “You are Never Done” with a solo rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” After grabbing the attention of the capacity crowd – more than 300 people filled the auditorium – Chin launched into a lively presentation of some of his most spectacular creations: large-scale conceptual art with social impact.

Chin showed images from Revival Field, a landscape-art project that combines science, technology and art. He planted hyperaccumulator plants to naturally draw toxic heavy metal from the soil at a Minnesota landfill. Chin has worked with other scientists and artists to replicate the project in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, and Stuttgart, Germany.

For In the Name of the Place, Chin and his collaborators inserted art objects on the set of the prime-time TV series Melrose Place, placing fine art into popular culture. The pieces were later auctioned off to benefit educational charities.

Chin also screened the trailer for 9/11-9/11 (2006), an animated film based on his graphic novel of the same title. The fictional love story examines the human impact of covert political machinations.

During his visit to OCAD University, Chin also met with a group of students who are committed to social justice through their art or activities on campus.

"You are never done" is presented by the President's Speaker Series in association with Onsite Gallery’s ONSITE/EXCITE/INSPIRE program which investigates stimulating change through public platforms outside the gallery.

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Image of artist Mel Chin speaking with students
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 5:00am

Houston-based artist Mel Chin opened his March 9 talk “You are Never Done” with a solo rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” After grabbing the attention of the capacity crowd – more than 300 people filled the auditorium – Chin launched into a lively presentation of some of his most spectacular creations: large-scale conceptual art with social impact.

Chin showed images from Revival Field, a landscape-art project that combines science, technology and art. He planted hyperaccumulator plants to naturally draw toxic heavy metal from the soil at a Minnesota landfill. Chin has worked with other scientists and artists to replicate the project in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, and Stuttgart, Germany.

For In the Name of the Place, Chin and his collaborators inserted art objects on the set of the prime-time TV series Melrose Place, placing fine art into popular culture. The pieces were later auctioned off to benefit educational charities.

Chin also screened the trailer for 9/11-9/11 (2006), an animated film based on his graphic novel of the same title. The fictional love story examines the human impact of covert political machinations.

During his visit to OCAD University, Chin also met with a group of students who are committed to social justice through their art or activities on campus.

"You are never done" is presented by the President's Speaker Series in association with Onsite Gallery’s ONSITE/EXCITE/INSPIRE program which investigates stimulating change through public platforms outside the gallery.