Jean Shin

Jean Shin

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform castoff materials into elegant expressions of identity and community. Working in a variety of mediums, she collects vast accumulations of singular objects—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which she alters into conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor intensive process of amassing her materials from various communities, her arresting installations reflect the 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 solo exhibitions at the 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).

Jean Shin - Chinatown 20/20

Chinatown 20/20

Chinatown 20/20, 2005
Prescription eyeglasses and painted acrylic panels
Originally commissioned by the Asian Arts Initiative/PEW Foundation, Philadelphia for the exhibition Chinatown In/flux.

The installation comprised of used glasses and was originally installed in the storefronts of three Chinatown businesses—a doctor’s office, a beauty salon, and a noodle shop. Chinatown 20/20 invited viewers to come close and attempt to look through the different glasses from both sides of the wall. In its first iteration, the many different glasses frame styles and lenses gestured to the diversity within Chinatown, casting away the stereotype of the homogenous masses of the immigrant other.

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