Fondazione Augusto Rancilio hosts – in its role as promoter and producer of cultural activities – contemporary art exhibitions that can be visited in conjunction with the openings to the public, to tell and enhance the regeneration project of Villa Arconati-FAR in its territory.
Angela Lyn is a Swiss artist of Anglo-Chinese origin. In her upcoming major solo exhibition On the Edge of Time, organised by the Augusto Rancilio Foundation, curated by Li Zhenhua, and to be held at Villa Arconati-FAR, the artist creates a resonance between her life and the traces of history in the 17th century building. In a cumulative journey throughout 25 rooms of the villa to which the artist gives names, Angela Lyn’s site-specific installations weave the past into the present, subtly dismantling our linear perceptions of time and place. Her work includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, text and video work. Through her poetic reconstruction of historical and personal narratives akin to story-telling, Angela Lyn re-animates the time-worn space, punctuating it with existential human questions concerning the future.
“My approach is to employ a narrative akin to story-telling, in which the presence of the work touches the viewer not only on a conceptual and emotional level but also through the energy of its physical presence. My hope is to engage the viewer by creating something communicative upon which experience and memory can be built.” Angela Lyn

The Villa Arconati, a four-hundred-year-old baroque palazzo situated on the outskirts of Milan, is the setting for a major solo exhibition by the artist Angela Lyn. On the Edge of Time takes the viewer on a journey through 25 rooms of the Villa, exploring questions of identity, gender and culture in their relation to time and space.

Angela Lyn was born to a Chinese father and an English mother and grew up in the UK and the USA. At the age of 17, she went to Taiwan in search of her Chinese roots. After studying fine art in London, she moved to Switzerland and since 1994 has lived in Lugano. She is married and the mother of three children.

Li Zhenhua is the curator of the exhibition. He is based in Zurich, Berlin and Beijing and is widely known for his curatorial work for Art Basel Hong Kong and important museum exhibitions such as K11 and Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai. In Europe, he curated China, China, China! – an exhibition at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. The collaboration with Angela Lyn draws upon their shared enquiry into cross cultural experience.

On the Edge of Time brings together for the first time over 150 original works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, texts and video work. The exhibition offers a comprehensive insight into Angela Lyn’s artistic language as a whole, creating a harmonious synergy with the time-worn opulence of the baroque architecture.

Transcending the nostalgic aspects of her Anglo-Chinese heritage and the narrative of her persistent journey as an artist, Angela Lyn’s art mediates the poetic resonance between objects and the space they inhabit. Within this liminal framework, she weaves together the spirit of traditional Chinese painting inherent in her work and the explorations of space, color and technique related to Western art traditions.

Angela Lyn builds her work foremost on her observations of nature, striving to create a universal language that goes beyond the constraints of cultural or political dogma. In this exhibition, she links her observations to the Villa and its surroundings, creating a narrative that connects us regardless of time, place or origin.

The project includes Michael Schindhelm, the internationally known German-Swiss author and documentary film-maker, who has directed a film introducing Angela Lyn’s work, the exhibition and the unique setting of the Villa.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated, 400-page publication designed by Jonas Niedermann, photographed by Andrea Rossetti and published by Vexer, St Gallen/Berlin. This major book portrays the exhibited works, the site-specific room installations and includes a curatorial text by Li Zhenhua, a conversation with Michael Schindhelm and biographical and poetic texts by Angela Lyn.

In her new project On the Edge of Time, Angela Lyn expands her approach by inviting a diverse group of contributors (listed below) to respond to questions related to the exhibition and its themes. These encounters appear in the book in dialogue with the artist’s work, bringing the enquiry to a heightened level of shared reflection.

On the Edge of Time also invites artist Su Ling Gyr to do an installation in the Women’s wing of the Villa, where in the past, women and children spent time together. Su Ling is a women’s wear graduate from Central St. Martins, London, and is the daughter of Angela Lyn. Their collaboration addresses female identity in relation to art and its representation of women.

For an installation in the former stables, Angela Lyn invites long-time collaborator Jesse  Bannister, UK composer and musician, to compose four pieces of music. The installation elaborates the idea of the stables as a place of rest and recuperation for the horses. In today’s frenetic world of speed and distraction, the centuries-old stables become a tranquil space to absorb time and energy.

Within this 17th century building, Angela Lyn creates a resonance between her own life and the traces of history within the Villa. Naming the rooms, she intervenes the space in a cumulative interplay. As the story progresses, the artist forms a poetic reconstruction of historical and personal narratives, subtly dismantling our linear perceptions of time and place.

On the Edge of Time brings Angela Lyn’s artistic journeys, the episodes of her life and the historical emanations of the Villa together in a lasting moment that invites viewers to interact with her work and connect with their own memories and experience. It is her most ambitious project to date.



Villa Arconati Via Fametta, 1 Bollate, Italy


Angela Lyn, “will there be enough” 2021, installation, 45 x 50 x 400 cm                                                                                                 In the hunting room, surrounded by ravaging dogs, Angela Lyn reflects on consumption and the human drive to hunt throughout history. The dwarfed table setting puts the notions of power into a questionable perspective. 

Photo credit: Andrea Rossetti