Jean Shin

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Jean Shin (born 1971 in Seoul, South Korea) is an American artist who lives and works in New York City. She attended the Pratt Institute for a master in art history.[1] In addition to her work as an artist, Shin has also worked as a teacher in Liquitex/ColArt Americas, Inc., Pratt Institute, School of art and design, and the Art Center in New York City.[1] She has also been a guest to other institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, Asia Society and Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Contemporary Art Council, Parson’s School of Art and Design, and the Fabric Workship and Museum in Philadelphia.[2]


She is best known for her labor-intensive, sculptural process of transforming accumulations of cast-off objects into visually alluring, conceptually rich works. Her sculptures, video and site-specific installations navigate the boundary between abstraction and representation, while considering both formal issues and cultural investigations. Jean Shin's artwork references a wide range of art historical precedents, from minimalism, with its unyielding repetition of singular forms, to feminism, with its focus on traditional craft techniques, and Arte Povera, with its connection to everyday life.[3]

Her inventory of scavenged and obsolete materials includes worn shoes, lost socks, broken umbrellas, broken ceramics,[4] discarded lottery tickets, and prescription pill bottles, all of which she accumulates in massive quantities. Shin then transmutes these finds through a meticulous process of deconstruction, alteration, and restoration. The resulting sculptures and installations consist of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seemingly identical objects, each of which carries a multitude of potential meanings that inspire both personal and collective associations.[5]

"The focus shifts constantly in my installations between individual and group identity, the single unit and the larger whole, the intimate and the excessive. My elaborate work-process mirrors these dualities, as objects of mass production and consumerism are transformed through intense handmade labor."[6]

Her work has been widely exhibited in major national and international museums, including a 2004 solo project at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in 2006, and a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC in 2009.[7][8][9]


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2016: "Surface Tension", Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2015: "Inclusions", The Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, TX; "Links", Olson Gallery, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN; "Domesticated Landscapes", Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA
  • 2013: "Host", Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ; "Intervals", The 13th KAFA Award Recipient Exhibition, Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: "Jean Shin and Brian Ripel: Retreat", deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; "Recall", Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2010: "Jean Shin and Brian Ripel: Unlocking", Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ; "Pattern Folds", Calvin Klein Collection, New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Seoul, Korea
  • 2009: "Common Threads", Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
  • 2008: "And we move", Location One, New York, NY
  • 2007: "Key Promises", Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2006: "TEXTile", Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2005: "Glasscape", Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris, France; "Accumulations", University Art Museum, Albany, NY
  • 2004: "Projects 81: Jean Shin", Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; "Recent Works", Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY; "Hide", Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS
  • 2003: "Penumbra", Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY
  • 1999: "444", Apex Art, New York, NY

Honors, awards and residencies[edit]

  • 2016 Artist in Residence, Material for the Arts, Long Island City, NY
  • 2012 KAFA Award for the Visual Arts, Korea Arts Foundation of America
  • 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts, Fellowship Award in Architecture/Environmental Structures
  • 2007-08 Location One International Residency Program, New York, NY
  • 2006-07 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
  • 2004-05 Dieu Donne Papermill, Studio Workshop Residency, New York, NY; Lower East Side Printshop, Special Editions Fellow, New York, NY
  • 2004 Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation
  • 2003-06 Fabric Workshop and Museum, Artist Residency, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2003 New York Foundation for the Arts, Fellowship Award in Sculpture; Art Omi International Artists Residency, Brooklyn NY; BCAT/Rotunda Gallery Residency, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2001 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Art Award; Asian Cultural Council Fellowship
  • 1992 Vermont Studio Center, International Residency Program, Johnson, VT
  • 1990-04 Charles Pratt Scholar, Full Merit Scholarship and Pratt National Talent Search First Place, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1990 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts (selected by the White House Commissioners); National Foundation for the Advancement for the Arts Award

Public commissions[edit]

  • 2016 Elevated, MTA Arts & Design, 63rd Street Station, Second Ave Subway, New York, NY; Reclaimed, City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle Public Utilities, North Transfer Station, Seattle, WA
  • 2014 100 Wishes, maimonides Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2010 Settings, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Percent for Art Commission, P/IS 276, Battery Park City, NY
  • 2008 Celadon Remnants, MTA, Arts for Transit Commission, LIRR Broadway Station, Queens, NY; Dress Code, US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Award, George Fallon Federal Building, Baltimore, MD

Selected public and corporate collections[edit]

  • Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
  • Calvin Klein Corporate Art Collection, New York, NY
  • Chaney Family Collection
  • Chase Bank Corporate Art Collection
  • Citicorp Corporate Art Collection
  • City of Seattle, Office of Arts and Culture
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
  • Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI
  • Lehman Brothers, London
  • Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority, Arts for Transit, Queens, NY
  • Microsoft Corporate Art Collection
  • Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
  • Museum of Glass, International Center of Contemporary Art, Tacoma, WA
  • Neuberger Berman Collection
  • The Percent for Art Program of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY
  • The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
  • Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
  • Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
  • Surdna Foundation, New York, NY
  • Sweet Blair College, Art Gallery, VA
  • Ssamzie Collection, Seoul Korea
  • Ulrich Museum of Art, University of Wichita, Wichita, KS
  • U.S. General Services Administration, Art in Architecture, Baltimore, MD
  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
  • The West Family Collection

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kara Kelley Hallmark,Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists, United States, 2007, 195
  2. ^ Kara Kelley Hallmark,Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists, United States, 2007, 195-196
  3. ^ Brooke Kamin Rapaport,“ Jean Shin’s Accumulations of Ephemera,” Sculpture, July/August 2008, 33–34
  4. ^ "MTA Arts & Design". Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, Exhibitions Brochure JEAN SHIN: common threads, Smithsonian American Art Museum, May 2009
  6. ^ Jean Shin, Artist Statement,, March 2009
  7. ^ "The Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series - MoMA". Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Jean Shin: Common Threads". Retrieved 19 April 2017.