Mel Chin employs a wide range of approaches, from unique, idiosyncratic objects to multi-disciplinary, collaborative operations. His public projects present a rigorous pragmatism and an elevated poetic. Studio work is suffused with a deeply considered restraint or excess to promote an unpredictable aesthetic without a signature style. His 2014 retrospective curator, Miranda Lash, described his practice as a mutative strategy, depending on concepts to derive the materials of its realization, from actions, to films, to objects, as necessary. He is the recipient of many awards, grants, including the MacArthur Fellowship, 2019, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2021.