American, born 1951, lives in New York City and Burnsville, North Carolina
Mel Chin was raised in Houston, Texas, the first generation of his family born in the United States. Of Chinese descent, he grew up in a predominantly African American and Latino neighborhood and worked in his family’s grocery store. He began making art at an early age and earned his BA from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1975. Chin is best known for under taking collaborative and crossdisciplinary artistic investigations into political and often ecologically charged topics. For example, in 1991 Chin worked with a group of scientists to create gardens of plants that draw heavy metals from contaminated areas to make Revival Field. His numerous one-person exhibitions and innovative projects have been sponsored by List Center for Visual Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2000); the Metro Transit Authority, New York City (1995–1997); the Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin County, CA (1994–1999); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1990); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (1989).