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Lee Lin Chin
, 2005

by Ingvar Kenne

type C photograph (frame: 103.0 cm x 103.0 cm, sheet: 100.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Lee Lin Chin, former broadcaster and stylesetter, was born in Indonesia and raised and schooled in Singapore, where in 1968 she began working in television and radio. After arriving in Australia in 1980 she worked as a translator of Chinese movies (she speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and Fukien). Having worked with ABC radio in Darwin and Newcastle, she became a newsreader with the multicultural and multilingual public broadcast channel, SBS, in 1988, gaining devoted viewers by way of her stern, even contemptuous delivery and superbly-cut tops and jackets. As host of the network’s Fashionista program she built a reputation as a style authority, in 2008 curating the exhibition of historical fashion photographs, Strike a Pose . . . With Lee Lin Chin at the National Archives of Australia, Canberra. Now renowned as a comedian as well as a voice for social change, Chin has a huge social media following although she posts little, if anything, herself, retaining the air of mystery that so intrigues her admirers. Her 'Chinspirational' book, Iced Beer and Other Tantalising Tips for Life, co-written with Chris Leben, was published in 2016. Chin’s causes include The Social Studio, an enterprise dedicated to creating employment and educational pathways for young people who have been refugees. She is pictured here in a dress by Japanese-born Australian designer Akira Isogawa.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2006
Accession number: 2006.45