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Jean Shin: Domesticated Landscapes

  • Mark Moore Gallery
February 11, 2015

The understanding is said to be first disclosed to human beings through their practical day-to-day encounters with others, with things in the world and through language. Scientific paradigm comes later, and assume we should come up to those meanings starting up with observations of our surroundings and then build upon that basis. But explanation of the understanding preceding any other way of knowing, such as the use of logic, theory, specific ontology or act of reflective thought. This ontological understanding can be re-disclosed in various ways through innovative forms of re-contextualization. Jean Shin is dealing with this idea of disclosure.

Mark Moore Gallery
Jean Shin – Annual Rings

The Revealing of Unity

As the title of the show suggests, the juxtaposition of two ideas that are considered to be separate in the workday language, the idea of domesticity, that is, the idea of culture and nurture on the one hand, and the idea of nature, and causal determinism on the other. Yet in order to make use of this distinction we have to have pre-conceptual ways of relating to the environment. These necessary condition of our perception of stuff as diverse is what these works are meant to reveal. As Jean Shin in her programmatic statement says: “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.”

Mark Moore Gallery
Jean Shin – Tree Bark

The Tripartite Narrative

Flatware was donated by members of the local community where the sculpture was built and exposed, and all items have aura of different individual domestic spheres. Sculpture in the form of tree is made of a stump, a log and branches. All this elements can be seen as allegory of ways we exploit natural resources and utilize them, pollute the environment. Yet there is seductive, decorative part in this human undertaking that makes us shortsighted and it is shown in the form of branches.

Mark Moore Gallery
Jean Shin – Branches 1

The Outdoor Spoons

Her art is site-specific, it takes place in public sphere, and it’s done with the aim of starting up the dialogue with the community where it’s installed. These works explore the dynamics between outdoor spaces and silverware that represents the idea of domestic, that is to say a backbone of the community. The need of self preservation of community, its staticity, is embedded in very idea of silver. Silver itself is a symbol of value and durability. The imagery of tree represents the opposite of the community, at the same time its border and possible horizon of expansion. In the contemporary consumer culture all those communitarian values that we care about are under constant pressure of velocity, of instantaneity, of compulsive transfiguration. Jean Shin’s installation in the public spaces combine profane elements, namely, ordinary objects or their parts, that are often decommissioned, as it were. Those items could be of innumerable kinds, including broken umbrellas, donated clothing, losing lottery tickets, empty wine bottles, discarded computer keycaps, utensils, and many others.

The exhibition will be open at the Mark Moore Gallery in Washington from February 19 to March 21, 2015.

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Mark Moore Gallery
Jean Shin – Branches 2

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