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, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where in 2020, she was the first Korean-American woman artist featured in a solo exhibition.