Jean Shin 진 신

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of community, Shin’s arresting installations reflect individuals’ personal lives as well as collective issues that we face as a society. Her work has been widely exhibited in major national and international museums, including in solo exhibitions at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona (2010), Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC (2009), the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (2006), and Projects at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2004).
Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the United States, Shin attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and received a BFA and MS from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She lives and works in New York City. (
Artist Statement
By transforming accumulations of everyday objects into visually alluring conceptual explorations, my work speaks to the optimism inherent in giving new form to life’s leftovers.  In my sculptures and large-scale installations, I seek to recall an object’s past, as well as suggest its greater connection to our collective memories, desires and failures. My inventory of everyday materials includes broken umbrellas, donated clothing, losing lottery tickets, empty wine bottles and discarded computer keycaps.  These humble remnants, often forgotten and no longer “useful”, nevertheless retain the traces of their former lives.  After accumulating and deconstructing hundreds—sometimes even thousands—of these cast-offs, I synthesize the collection of them into new constructions for my sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Taken together, the objects appear homogenous and monumental. Upon closer inspection however, their individuality and variety emerges. The focus of my installations shifts continually between the identity of the individual and that of the group, the single unit and the larger whole, the intimate and the excessive. My elaborate process mirrors these dualities, as objects of mass production and consumerism are transformed by hand and through intense physical labor. (