Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Mieography

Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio, to Julia and Henry, recent immigrants from China. Her father was a ceramist, and a dean at the Ohio University of Fine Arts, and her mother was a Professor of Literature at Ohio University. Her aunt is the first female architect in China.

She grew up, surrounded by caucasian people, and has said that she didn't even realize she was Chinese until later in life, and she was in her thirties when she got the desire to understand her cultural background.
After high school Maya was accepted to Yale University, where she earned a BA, and a Masters in Architecture. She also, eventually, was awarded an honorary doctorate.
When she was twenty one, and an undergraduate, she won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1,420 other applicants. It was completed in October, 1982.
The black cut stone wall, with the names of 58,253 fallen soldiers is V shaped. One side pointing towards the Lincoln Memorial, and the other pointing to the Washington Monument.
Her conception was initially controversial, because it was not traditional, for a War memorial. Some people also opposed it, because of her heritage. Maya believes that had the competition not been a 'blind' competition (the designs were submitted by number, not name) she would never have won. She was harassed after her ethnicity was revealed. Ross Perot even referred to her as an 'egg roll'. She ended up having to defend her design in front of the Congress.
Eventually, a compromise was reached, and a bronze statue of a group of soldiers and an American Flag was placed off to one side of the monument.
(Having been to the monument, I can tell you, it is breath taking, and heart breaking, and I think she was brilliant in her design and the people who protested were idiots).
She now owns and operates Maya Lin Studio in NYC, and has designed many other structures, such as the Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama, and Wave Field, at the University of Michigan. An Academy Award winning documentary has been filmed about her ("Maya Lin, a Strong Clear Vision), and she was written a book. (Boundaries). She is also the architect for the Confluence Project, a series of outdoor installations, and historical points along the Columbia and Snake River's in Washington State.
She is married, and has two daughters, and continues to work on many projects.


NanaKaos said...

I love her monument. It is beautiful. It is stark and dark like that war, but comes to life when it rains, all of those forgotten names are visible in the rain, how perfect is that.
Makes you wonder what all of the brouhaha was all about. Good choice!

Anonymous said...

REALLY?!?!?!?!?! How ironic, in my opinion. More ironic if she had been born to Vietnamese immigrants. That's really interesting.

sybil law said...

It is a gorgeous monument. Crazy that she had to go through so much. Good choice!!

Daryl said...

Anyone who objected to this is an ass; it is by far one of, if not the most effecting tribute this country has paid to its fallen soldiers/sailors/Marines ever

Anonymous said...

It really is a wonderful creation.

I didn't know the back story or that the creator was so young and Chinese. (I was born in 1980.)

Thanks for sharing.

Bubblewench said...

WOW! Amazing one! Love it!