Wan-Ru Lin: Finding Light in the Dark

We talk with Taiwanese multi media artist Wan-Ru Lin about her 2am series in the build up the our Spring Collection.

My name is Wan-Ru Lin. I’m from Taiwan, and previously studied in media, communications and design, and was working as a graphic designer in Taipei. I came to England wanting to learn more about art and to focus more on the images I was creating, so I enrolled in a photography course at Goldsmiths.

How was your experience there?

Quite different from my home town, at Goldsmiths it was very free. I had two or three months where I was quite confused, because as a designer I always had a client and a concept to work to. Now I needed to find something to do for myself. When I realised my course didn’t only do photography it allowed me to do anything, so it was hard to choose.



So how did you start creating digital art?

UN-Titled From 2am - Chapter Two

Durantran prints on LED display | 60 x 60 cm


I was more confident in multi-media and graphic design as I have much more experience in it. Once I realised I had the opportunity to create multi-media art, I was quite excited to start doing so. For this project I have video and image work, using the two different kinds of media to present my ideas.

What is the story behind these images?

I wanted to find a new way to create an image, so I started to explore; I decided to focus in on the composition of light when taking pictures and I used my camera to capture different kinds of light. I went to Hyde Park on multiple occasions to take photos of the sun setting. I started to find everyday on the way home at night that the street lighting and the underground had their own individual kind of light. Everywhere had its own light. I used both digital and analogue cameras to capture it, but after six months there was no result, I couldn’t see any potential in the images.

UN-Titled From 2am - Chapter Three

Durantran prints on LED display | 60 x 60 cm


I spoke to my tutor and said “I’m stuck,” I felt very bad. And he said “why are you always stuck? Go have fun... drink!” And I was like “Ok, you tell me to drink, I will drink.” He said “just make sure you bring your camera.” So I started to have fun, go out more and went travelling during the Easter. I was on the night train in Germany at around 2am and it was fully dark; there were no people going about, everybody was asleep. Then this cinematic feeling came upon me; light came through a gap in the curtain shining into my carriage, reflecting and refracting off of these two mirrors which made the light seem crazy and non stop. Then I realised that I had found my topic, after six months in the dark I found my light. Suddenly I had discovered a new way to deal with my image!

I also found glitch art, where you take a picture, upload it to a computer to look at its coding and you take out some of the numbers from its code. The picture becomes broken down, like an old TV when it’s broken; I found this interesting. I wanted to take out colours and over lay different pictures to manipulate in Photoshop.

What do you hope that your work communicates with your audience?

UN-Titled From 2am - Chapter Four

Durantran prints on LED display | 60 x 60 cm


I want the audience to think one question, what is reality and what is your imagination?

My pictures look imagined and hallucinogenic, but the accompanying video shows where they originate. You think the light box pictures are edited as they seem so surreal, but they are images sourced from reality. So you should observe the pictures, then watch the video and see if it changes your initial understanding of the truthfulness of the subject matter. 

Wan-Ru Lin will be exhibiting her artwork in our Spring Collection this February 28th - 4th March at the Menier Gallery. For tickets to the private view click here.