A concise biography introduces the Chinese-American artist and designer Maya Lin, best known for her architectural plan for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Lin, the child of a ceramic artist and a poet who “had fled China at a time when people were told…how to think,” spends hours as a child playing in the nearby woods and building miniature towns of “paper and scraps.” Lin is in her last year of college when she enters a competition to design a proposed memorial to Vietnam War veterans, to be built on the National Mall. The design had to include the 58,000 names of those soldiers who had died in Vietnam. Lin’s design was chosen in the anonymous competition but was not without controversy when her name was revealed. The illustration of the completed memorial focuses on the wall and Lin’s original concept, built into the earth, rising and falling with the landscape, rather than the compromised result, with statues representing soldiers. Phumiruk’s clean-lined, crisp illustrations, done in Photoshop, and light palette emphasize connections between Lin’s concepts and the strong influences of nature on Lin’s art. The margins of the page containing Harvey’s author’s note about Lin’s work are filled with artists’ and architects’ tools, neatly labeled: ink pens, blueprints, pastels. Harvey provides websites for further information but no specific sources for her work.
Overall, a fine celebration of a renowned woman artist. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)