Known for her large-scale installations and public sculptures, artist Jean Shin transforms accumulations of discarded objects into powerful monuments that interrogate our complex relationship between material consumption, collective identity and community engagement. Often working cooperatively within a community or region, Shin amasses vast collections of an everyday object or material—Mountain Dew soda bottles, mobile phones, 35mm slides—while researching its history of use, circulation and environmental impact. Distinguished by this labor-intensive and participatory process, Shin’s poetic yet epic creations become catalysts for communities to confront social and ecological challenges. As such, her body of work includes several permanent public artworks commissioned by major agencies and municipalities, most recently a landmark commission for the MTA’s Second Ave Subway in NYC.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in the US, Shin works in Brooklyn and Hudson Valley, New York. She is a tenured Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and holds an honorary doctorate from New York Academy of Art. Shin’s work has been widely exhibited and collected in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions, including solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, and Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where in 2020 she was the first Korean-American woman artist featured in a solo exhibition. Shin has received numerous awards, including the Frederic Church Award for her contributions to American art and culture. Her works have been highlighted in The New York Times and Sculpture Magazine, among others.
Second SkinSolo Exhibition by Jean Shin 16 Jun - 23 Jul 2023Widely recognized for her large-scale installations and sculptures, Jean Shin's artist practice is rooted in the rethinking of materials, specifically those that have been discarded at mass scale. As she told the New York Times in a 2009 interview, her criteria for materials is often something that is “cast off...Read more
Bringing the cosmos underground: celebrating public art created by women for the NYC subwayBen Yakas, Gothamist, March 30, 2023
Untitled Art Fair: Jean Shin's Road to UtopiaJasmine Liu, Untitled Art Fair, November 19, 2022
A 140-Year Old Hemlock Was Lost. Now It Has New Life As Art.Meredith Mendelsohn, The New York Times, May 3, 2021
Refuse Transformed: Reuse as Social RepairLouis Bury, Hyperallergic, August 18, 2018
The Secret Lives of Discarded ThingsOlivia Jia, Hyperallergic, July 6, 2018