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Yu-Kai Lin

In Our Own Words: Yu-Kai Lin, the owner of Kai Lin Art

Yu-Kai Lin owns and directs Kai Lin Art, a contemporary art gallery founded in 2008. He has collaborated with curators, developers, designers and consultants across the Southeast to build private and public collections. Lin, also a pianist and teacher, has a music degree from Emory University. (Photo by Robie DuChateau)


I think the singular lesson that stands out in this unprecedented year is learning how to appreciate. The pandemic, the election, the racial injustices, the isolation from social distancing, the upheaval of everything we’ve ever known — all of these factors have propelled us individually and collectively to seek some sense of grounding and stability. This year has taught me that appreciation is the answer. To appreciate the idleness that brings clarity. To appreciate the clarity that brings purpose. To appreciate the purpose that brings a new pathway forward.

Our gallery has weathered a few gales throughout our 12-year history. Like many small businesses, this year is one of the most challenging we’ve had to face. The process of keeping an arts institution thriving has always been unpredictable and precipitous. Art is fleeting, it’s subjective, it’s elusive. I think the takeaway of 2020 is to remain flexible and find ways to pivot and create. Additionally, we remain grateful for the relationships that we’ve fostered over the years. Our network of artists, patrons, consultants and collectors who’ve continued to support our gallery gives us intention and purpose.

I am definitely hopeful for the future. This year has renewed my belief that we are all creators. This time of reflection gives us the ability to contemplate the lives we’d like to lead and the generosity of spirit that comes with being alive. To create the life we want and the environment for understanding and unity so that our lives and the lives of those in our sphere are nourished and enriched.