reviews > Philadelphia, PN

In “On Longing,” writer Susan Stewart explains the appeal of miniatures. It is a lesson well attended to by Monika Lin in many of her sculptures, from the tiny trees of “Take Away,” built of rice grains and masking tape fragments set into to go-container rectangles of resin, to the mix-and-match ceramic monster figurines of “Harvest” and the brooches of “Domestic Fabric,” woven from donated hair, lint and dog fur. Why the irresistibility of tiny things is relevant here is because Lin’s subjects are not always as attractive as their presentation. “Take Away” is inspired by China’s so-called rice economy of cheap labor sustained by cheap sustenance. “Harvest” plays with the present and future of genetic engineering and other mutations. “Domestic Fabric,” a take-off on Victorian mourning pins, fashions delicate wearable objects out of personal refuse. Make it small and render it beautifully, and we will not be able to resist engaging.

—Lori Waxman 10/14/2023 2:08 PM