Jean Shin: Second Skin

June 16 – July 23, 2023

Praise Shadows is honored to present Second Skin, a solo exhibition by the New York-based artist Jean Shin. Widely recognized for her large-scale installations and sculptures, her 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 from a person’s life because its desirability and usefulness are questioned, that it in some way archives a personal history but also can speak to larger issues going on in our culture.” Second Skin is composed of materials used prominently in recent public art commissions, giving them another life in the realm of artistic expression. This exhibition demonstrates the possibilities of translating monumental public art works into intimate indoor experiences by building on the materials’ history and finding common ecological narratives in the new works.

This exhibition is a continuation in the life cycles of two of Shin’s recent commissions: Fallen at Olana, the Frederic Church Estate (2021), and Freshwater, commissioned by Philadelphia Contemporary (2022). Both projects present layered temporal narratives through the intersecting histories of everyday objects and threatened plant or animal species, inviting audiences to encounter each layer of a region’s environmental and industrial history through artistic intervention.