Mel Chin is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a project that pioneered the field of “green remediation,” the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. A current project, Fundred Dollar Bill/Operation Paydirt, focuses on national awareness and prevention of childhood lead-poisoning through art-making. Mel is also well known for his iconic sculptures and installations, works that often address the importance of memory and collective identity, and for inserting art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility.
Mel’s work is exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, and was documented in the popular PBS program, Art 21: Art of the 21st Century. A traveling retrospective exhibition, Rematch, was organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art in 2014/2015. Recent commissions include Sea to See by the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, Co-Cobijos, a work for the Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Texas, and The Tie That Binds, for Los Angeles’ Public Art Biennial, Current:LA Water, 2016. Recent exhibitions include Degrees of Separation, Station Museum, Houston, Texas; The Value of Food, St John the Divine, NYC; Mel Chin/Works at Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Koeln, Germany; Fade/In at the Swiss Institute, NYC. He is the recipient of multiple awards. Mel lives and works in Egypt Township, North Carolina.