Having been discovered by the artistic coterie and the local leaders and intellectual groups in Nantou in 1979, the self-taught Taiwanese artist Lin Yuan (1913-1991) not only attracted the close attention of such prominent Taiwanese artists as Yuyu Yang (1926-1997, also known as Yang Yingfeng) and Ju Ming (193 but also received high acclaim from the celebrated French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). Lin's works often seem to come to life and display the genuineness and innocence of a child.
After his retirement from farming at the age of sixty-five (1976), Lin Yuan, under the auspices of the Taiwanese entrepreneur Huang Bingsong, plunged himself into the creative arts, trying his hand in various art forms for fourteen consecutive years until his death at seventy-nine. His works are prolific and exhibit great diversity (including stone carving, woodcarving, embroidery, lithograph, painting, metal and assemblage art). Throughout his life, Lin received only two months of formal education. Most of his works sprang from the folktales he heard on the radio or from his own imagined stories. Lin's artistic creation takes its origin from self-observation and practical knowledge, featuring human figures, such as close relatives and protagonists of myths, and animals, such as turtles, cows, pigs and birds. Lin never balked at drawing upon diverse materials and integrating them into a realistic tableau of life in a creative manner; the images in his art, rather than abstrusely metaphorical, are straightforward. Often following spontaneity, Lin left many improvisations without titles. After his death in 1991, collectors and connoisseurs, for lack of substantive references from the artist, gave the name “no title” to many of Lin's works that are rich in meaning.
台灣早期以素人藝術或樸素藝術的概念與原生藝術相通，1960年代吳李玉哥的出現及 1970年代洪通的掘起，曾引發短暫地討論，1980年代後林淵先生與其他素人藝術家又被發掘與報導，這些藝術家們大都經歷農業社會轉型至工業社會的變遷過程，其作品生動趣味，表現率真的赤子之心，其中林淵更是台灣之奇與驚豔，更因林淵先生在受到企業家的贊助與支持，雖然短短的十數年創作（ 1977年至 1991年），在台灣藝術發展上，具有國際性的肯定地位。