New Directions/Jean Shin: Host | Montclair Art Museum
(MAM) & Yard School of Art offer American, Native American, & contemporary art exhibitions, programs, & classes in NJ

New Directions/Jean Shin: Host

Start Date: 
Sep 22, 2013
End Date: 
Jan 15, 2014

The third in MAM's annual New Directions series of contemporary art exhibitions is a major new outdoor sculpture by acclaimed artist Jean Shin. Titled Host, it is on long-term view on the Museum’s grounds beginning September 22, 2013, and the first commission in an outdoor sculpture garden celebrating the Museum’s Centennial. It is accompanied by related materials, including a video of the production of the sculpture, through January 15


One of today’s leading public artists, Jean Shin has worked directly with the MAM community to create Host specifically for the Museum. Fabricated from metal forks, knives, and spoons, many of which have been donated by residents of the Montclair area, Host takes the form of a tree that has been severed into three parts: the stump, the trunk, and the branches. Using intimate, everyday objects from our homes to generate this image of nature, Host speaks to both the resilience and vulnerability within the community. The flatware serves as a metaphor for personal and family histories, symbolizing the ritual of the family meal, the passing-down of heirlooms, and the conceptions of “home” that are at once personal and universal. The imagery of the tree refers to the suburban landscape: a source of pleasure and reassurance, but also, in recent years especially, of anxiety, reminding us of our fragile existence in the face of pressing ecological issues and economic challenges.



Jean Shin

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of community, Shin’s arresting installations reflect 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 in solo exhibitions at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona (2010), 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).


Other venues have been the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Asia Society and Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Sculpture Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Frederieke Taylor Gallery in New York City. Site-specific permanent installations have been commissioned by the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Award, New York City’s Percent for the Arts and MTA Art for Transit. She has received numerous awards, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Architecture/Environmental Structures (2008) and Sculpture (2003), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Art Award. Her works have been featured in many publications, including Frieze Art, Flash Art, Tema Celeste, Art in America, Sculpture Magazine, Artnews, and The New York Times. She is represented by Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York.

Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the United States, Shin attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and received a BFA and MS from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She lives and works in New York City.

Read more and see examples of her work on the artist's website.



New Directions

New Directions, Montclair Art Museum’s contemporary art exhibition series, spotlights emerging and mid-career artists working in all media, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, sound, digital, and performance art. Marking the launch of MAM’s new contemporary art program, New Directions debuted in Fall 2011 with Marina Zurkow: Friends, Enemies, and Others; working primarily in digital animation, Zurkow makes videos, prints, and objects exploring environmental themes. September 2012 saw the opening of Saya Woolfalk: The Empathics; Woolfalk examines issues of ethnic and gender identity through installations, textile-based sculptures, painting, video, and performance.




MAM Contemporaries

MAM Contemporaries is a dynamic group celebrating contemporary art at the Montclair Art Museum. Leading one of the first groups of its kind in the area, MAM’s Curator of Contemporary Art Alexandra Schwartz will guide participants who want to explore, learn, and deepen their knowledge of the contemporary art world. Learn more.

Related Events
Free First Thursday Night – Artist Talk with Jean Shin
Thursday, October 3, 7 p.m.
Join MAM for a special presentation by artist Jean Shin, whose major outdoor sculpture will be on view on the front lawn of the Museum starting September 22, at the return of Free First Thursday Night. Beginning its second season, Free First Thursday Night offers free admission, dynamic programming, live music, tours, and a full-service bar to MAM’s community the first Thursday of the month, October–June. See for details.
MSU/MAM Art Talks
Women Artists of the New Millennium/Panel Discussion
Thursday, September 26, 7 p.m.
$12 Members, $15 Nonmembers, FREE for MSU staff and students. Call 973-259-5137 or visit for tickets.
Explore the evolving status and concerns of women artists who followed the pioneering feminist artists of the 1970s with the authors of The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, a book published this September by the authors of the earlier, prize-winning book After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art. Eleanor Heartney, contributing editor to Art in America and Artpress, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include co-authors Nancy Princenthal, Helaine Posner, and Sue Scott. Discussion will examine history of women artists and the careers of an international selection of women artists born after 1960.
This series is a collaboration between the Master of Fine Arts degree program of Montclair State University and the Montclair Art Museum.

Children's Etiquette Workshop
Saturday, November 23, 10 a.m.– Noon
Advance registration required, limited seating. Call 973-259-5137 for tickets.
$18 Member, $20 Nonmember. Admission is for one child and one accompanying adult.
In honor of MAM's unveiling of Host by nationally recognized artist Jean Shin, the Museum will offer an etiquette workshop especially designed for kids. Jean Shin's sculpture was fabricated entirely from metal forks, knives, and spoons, which serve as a metaphor for personal and family histories and symbolize the ritual of the family meal. The workshop will include helpful tips on table manners and place setting etiquette in a fun gallery atmosphere. Please join us in Lehman Court for refreshments to learn the dos and don'ts of dining courtesies. This workshop is open to all kids ages 8 and up. Must be accompanied by an adult.
In partnership with Tatia Adams Fox, Certified International Etiquette and Protocol Consultant, South Orange, NJ.

New Directions/Jean Shin: Host is made possible with generous Exhibition Angel support from the Vance Wall Foundation, Rose and John Cali, Holly English and Fred Smagorinsky, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Ann and Mel Schaffer, and Margo and Frank Walter.

All Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.

Upcoming Events

  • 24Oct
  • MAM Conversations: The Art of Visual Perception, The 33rd Annual Julia Norton Babson Lecture
  • Details
  • Register
  • 27Oct
  • Creating Small Treasures with Printmaking Workshop
  • Details
  • 27Oct
  • Parent/Child Ceramics Ages 9-12 Workshop
  • Details