Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio in October of 1959. She attended Yale College, where she recieved her BA in Architecture in 1981. She later received her MArch from there in 1986. It was during her studies at Yale that Maya entered a competition for the Vietman Veterens' Memorial in Washington, DC. She won the competition and that set the path for her life's work. She has created many pieces of public art, including her Earthworks series.
When her parents left China, they left all their family history behind. Because of the Maya did not have a sense of her personal history. It was only as an adult that Maya learned about her family's past. Since then, she has taken the Eastern philosophies and melded them with her own. Lin feels that it is important to connect our bodies to the natural landscape. She wants her work and the people experiencing it to be connected to the site. This applies to both her art and her architecture. Another way to connect us to the site is through framed views into the landscape. That is a strategy employed by Japanese architecture. Each window frames a different view to the surrounding landscape, blurring the line between inside and outside.