by Yangchen Lin
The Strand Gallery, central London, 26 March – 13 April 2013
Old Examination Hall, University of Cambridge, 19 June – 27 September 2013
I regard the London Underground as one of the man-made wonders of the world. To the question 'why photograph the Tube', I can only quote George Mallory: 'because it is there'. On the occasion of its 150th year, one can only admire its ability to ingest and spit out millions of people every day in every direction. This exhibition tries to portray the endless permutations of ceramic tiles and cast iron in the venerable subterranean network and the perpetual drama of living beings that scurry through its labyrinthine conduits.
The mathematical name of the exhibition Tube = 2πr × h originates from the equation for the surface area of an open cylinder, that is the circumference 2πr multiplied by length h. This ancient geometric form has long served the cause of mechanical engineering and played no small part in seducing many a Tube fanatic.
Using a repertoire of camera manœuvres that often draw incredulous looks from passing commuters, the photographer attempts to transcend the purely cylindrical or human facets of the Underground to reveal the love-hate relationship between man and machine.
Yangchen Lin is a Singaporean research student at the University of Cambridge. He finds spiritual fulfilment in the unification of science and art, and partakes in a variety of photographic genres ranging from nature and architecture to sports and photojournalism. He is a Getty Images, iStockphoto and Demotix contributor. His photography has been featured at conferences, in magazines and on book covers and exhibited in Singapore and the United Kingdom; the peculiar style of his œuvre has been termed 'Linism' by a fellow photographer. As a foreigner living in the UK, he enjoys being a Londoner and a tourist at the same time. In his latest show, he shares observations of the interesting, the boring, the funny and the scary things from the secret life he has been living under the ground.