Monthly Archives: May 2014

Shin-hee Chin Exhibition

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“In my show, entitled Reverberating Silence, I attempt to carve out what I proudly call feminine territory in which the voices of effaced and silenced women reverberate, focusing on how cultural structures and strictures, repressive of women, could become dynamic and inspiring resources for female creativity.

Inspired by the traditional Korean housing style in Yi-dynasty and by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, my project uses the motif of “a room” as a space imprisoning and repressing female creativity. At the same time, the room is a metaphor of the female body and the womb, which envelopes and generates life.

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Hence, Reverberating Silence is the site in which two completely opposite meanings of a room coexist and complete: on the one hand, it is a confining space which hampers and represses women’s artistic expression; on the other, it is the feminine space in which freed creative energy finds its expression. The exhibition features fiber works that are placed within different rooms. The individual works placed in “a room,” configure various features and movements of the female body in the creative (procreative) act.

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I constantly try to valorize devalued women’s labor and the women’s body by reversing the negative insinuations associated with female domains and imbuing them with positive qualities. For that purpose, I often utilize needle, thread, and fabric in order to call into question the deep-seated bias that women’s work is trivial, menial, marginal and undesirable.  By incorporating wool, fiber, and string into the sculptural production, I convert the conventional “feminine” activity of needle works into a useful medium for the making of art. Through the strategic use of media that have been traditionally associated with the feminine, I want to show that seemingly ‘menial female work’ can be a source of pleasure and power for women.

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The slow nature of my technique seems to reenact the creative process of birthing. This recalls the gradual forming of the fetus through the intersection of capillary within the belly of the mother or perhaps the silkworm’s patient and continuous spinning leading the creation of its cocoon. Thus, these pieces speak not so much of sorrow, anger, regrets, but rather, of healing, recovering, inner joy attained by/through converting the physical, oppressive condition into the stimulating and dynamic inner resources for creative life.”

-Shin-hee Chin

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