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Famous Asian Americans in the Arts (page 2)

Famous Asian Americans in the Arts

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Updated on Apr 14, 2010

Maya Lin

Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio on October 5, 1959. She is an American artist and architect known for her work in sculpture and landscape art.

In 1981, at the age of 21, when she was still an architectural student at Yale University, Lin rose to fame when she won a public contest to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her design beat out more than 1,400 other entries. The black cut-stone masonry wall has the names of 58,261 fallen soldiers carved into its face. The wall is granite and V-shaped, with one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other pointing to the Washington Monument.

The design was initially controversial as it was thought to be an unconventional and non-traditional design for a war memorial. Opponents of the design also objected to Lin's Asian heritage. A compromise was eventually reached and Lin’s design stood ground. The memorial was completed in late October 1982 and dedicated on November 13, 1982. It has since become an important pilgrimage site for relatives and friends of the American military casualties in Vietnam, and personal tokens and mementos decorate the wall in their memory. Lin has since continued to create many significant sculptures and architectural designs for projects all over the world.

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