Born in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province in 1961, Lin Tianmiao is one of the first female artists from China to achieve international recognition. During the 1980s, Lin studied in the Fine Art Department of the Capital Normal University in Beijing. Following her studies, she moved to New York with her husband Wang Gongxin, a celebrated video artist. They returned to China in 1995, where they now reside. Early in her career, Lin worked as a successful textile designer, later translating her experience along with the crafts of weaving, sewing, and embroidery into her practice as a visual artist.