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Mel Chin

Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas in 1951.

"Mel Chin was born in Houston to Chinese parents in 1951, the first of his family born in the United States, and was reared in a predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhood. He worked in his family’s grocery store, and began making art at an early age. Though Chin is classically trained, his art is both analytical and poetic and evades easy classification. Alchemy, botany, and ecology are but a few of the disciplines that intersect in his work. He insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. Unconventional and politically engaged, his projects also challenge the idea of the artist as the exclusive creative force behind an artwork.

“The survival of my own ideas may not be as important as a condition I might create for others’ ideas to be realized,” says Chin, who often enlists entire neighborhoods or groups of students in creative partnerships. Chin received a BA from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1975, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 and 1990. He lives in North Carolina." –Art21

View Fundred Project in The Future is Unwritten: Artists for Tomorrow Exhibition


Fundred Project

TFIU Mel Chin Fundred Project
Mel Chin
TFIU Mel Chin Funded Project 01
Mel Chin Funded Project

Mel Chin initiated the Fundred Project to raise public awareness of and advance solutions to the devastating problem of lead poisoning. The initiative invites the public to create their own $100 bill to represent the value of a person’s expression against the invisible threat of lead poisoning that undermines health, intelligence and behavior, particularly in children.

Fundred Project

Since the inception of Fundred Project, students at hundreds of schools across the country created Fundred Dollar Bills that were picked up in a specially designed armored truck.

As students and educators handed their Fundreds over to truck guards for safekeeping, schools held events that raised awareness of the gravity and persistence of the lead in our environment.

From the History of Fundred Project

A collection of student-made Fundred Dollar Bills

Featured in the Future is Unwritten: Artists for Tomorrow Exhibition

Students designing their Fundred Dollar Bills in their classroom.

Featured in the Future is Unwritten: Artists for Tomorrow Exhibition

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