Name: Linlin Yu

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Location: Boston

Social Media:

Website/Portfolio: N/A currently

Artist Title: Multi-Media Artist
Linlin is a 17-year-old Asian-American student and artivist who strives to move the hearts of the greater society by serving and loving. Her explorations in traditional and digital illustrations, graphic design, animation, and apparel design have earned her a Gold Key in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards, Future Generation Art Prize for the 2020 COPIC AWARD international art contest, and Category Winner for the 2020 Robbie's HOPE contest. This fall she will attend the Rhode Island School of Design, where she will collaborate with teachers and the class of 2025 in her pursuit of interdisciplinary visual arts and the philosophy of art.

Linlin believes that visual representations effectively empower others regardless of their education, ethnicity, or beliefs. She aims to promote empathy and bring out the best in humanity, performing delicate actions to echo bold statements, incorporating individualism into a universal message. She hopes to not only remind her audience to perpetuate the growth of emotional intelligence, but also to unify everyone in human rights awareness, accompanying emerging voices for mental health, anti-racism, and empowering the world.

Some of Linlin's favorite things are respectfully sparring her family and friends, cosplaying and modeling at conventions, and watching cumulonimbus clouds with her cats.

Pursuit of Promise
© Copyright
Pursuit of Promise by Linlin - Linlin Yu.JPG
"Pursuit of Promise" is a flood of emotions on my own identity and on identity entanglement in my community. What lies beneath a mask of perseverance disguised as propaganda is the homage I pay to my home.

It's heartbreaking to think of the victims who have been attacked for their race—mocked, spat on, slapped, punched, kicked, degraded, raped, murdered, and often denied for their death which their remaining friends and families must cope with alone. It's heartbreaking to be expected based on our ethnicity to fully educate the public because it's "our own burden", then to be gaslighted for speaking up and silenced because it's "not the right time to talk about this". 

When emotions from my childhood resurface, I find myself longing to reconcile with the place I was raised in. Only until a few years ago did I realize that I belong in both America and China, living with the accumulation of what used to be clashing beliefs and morals. But no matter what, I feel no betrayal or resentment from either home. In fact, I'm proud of the emerging upstanders who are doing everything in their power to empower everyone. 

Looking back, I remember all of the gestures from the people who launched us forward. I think of my ancestors from China and Taiwan who are watching over us. I think of what my family has done for my brothers and I to be here in America. I think of the Linlin who they have always accepted and nurtured, the one who is slow with math, mediocre in Mandarin, and passionate about art. Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, my brothers—I want to keep you safe. 

Looking ahead, I know I need to fight for my community, for my family, and for myself.

And so do you.
The Awakening
© Copyright
The Awakening by Linlin - Linlin Yu.jpeg
"The Awakening" is my approach to artistically repairing the emotional and psychological suffering of the world in lockdown. I wish to tell the world to forgive the negative feelings that all humans naturally feel, and to look through a kaleidoscope and find beauty even in debris. The beauty lies in the gift of personal space to revise and grow. All humans collaborate to make the world a better place, so we should transcend beyond ourselves and have empathy for one another. It is a basic human right to have the same opportunities as everyone else regardless of the pigment of our skin, because our differences create harmony especially in difficult times. This diptych is a collaboration of universal issues of race, equality, and education during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which it echoes an important message to everyone and transcends all barriers.
We Are Not A Virus
© Copyright
We Are Not A Virus by Linlin - Linlin Yu.jpg
I hope this piece speaks for itself <3
Mental Health Questions
How had the pandemic affected your mental health as a woman/femme creative? Have certain things improved for you or have gotten worse? 

I have always wanted to be a responsible friend who can guide her loved ones in times of struggle. The pandemic has affected my friends more than anyone, and I am relieved they can depend on my company and our conversations. People around me have it rough, but when I realized that many things should be mutual/shared, I have continually worked on expressing my thoughts and feelings to my family and friends, who I am lucky to have support me just like I wish to support them. As a female creative, I am confident that the pandemic has strengthened my desire to help myself as much as I help others.

What is your power word or phrase that helps you overcome mental struggles? 

This is a tough one since it changes from time to time, but recently this phrase has stuck with me: "It's not about where you're going, but who you're going with."

How do you think mental health/mental illness has affect you as a girl/woman/femme and how you’re perceived? How do your creative outlets help you manage your mental health?

I believe that mental health and creativity go hand in hand. Since the beginning of quarantine when I was isolated and confused like so many others, I turned to the service aspect of creating. Mental health relates to the well being of people, and my long term interest in psychology and therapy emerged to take the paintbrush. I tried to answer questions such as, "why do I create art?" and "how do I create art?" I want to bring a piece of myself to the world which makes a difference, however big it may be - I aspire to inspire. In the process of helping others, I am also keeping myself healthy and happy.

What is something you wish people were more aware of that disproportionately affects women’s mental wellbeing? Do you use your art to raise awareness about this issue? If you have statistics/resources for this issue please share any! 

As an artist who values credibility and personal stories equally, I definitely have more homework to do in the aspect of informing my audience of the "smaller parts" of a bigger picture.