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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Her inventory of scavenged and obsolete materials includes worn shoes, lost socks, broken umbrellas, 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]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ 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
  3. ^ Kara Kelley Hallmark,Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists, United States, 2007, 195-196
  4. ^ Brooke Kamin Rapaport,“ Jean Shin’s Accumulations of Ephemera,” Sculpture, July/August 2008, 33–34
  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
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