Jean Shin is doing her part to combat America’s garbage problem, one mindmelting art installation at a time. The Brooklyn-based artist’s widely divergent body of work shares a few common traits: it’s all highly labor-intensive, it’s all made from discarded materials (whether wine bottles, prescription pill bottles, cheap umbrellas, or lottery tickets), and it’s all awesome.
But Shin’s interest in recycled materials actually has more to do with social engagement than environmental commentary. As she told Sculpture Magazine:
“It’s not just finding beauty in the mundane, it’s finding a connection with someone. The finished installation brings the individual experience to the collective. The labor-intensive, transformative process is like alchemy. By soliciting cast-off materials from communities, the projects reveal how we live, who we are, what we do. My primary interest is to figure out how to engage with the next community and how we are going to begin a conversation, a relationship.”