Jean Shin
Floating MAiZE

July 13 - Sept 18, 2020
Winter Garden at Brookfield Place 

The Last Straw

July 13 - Sept 18, 2020
Winter Garden at Brookfield Place

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Co-presented with Arts Brookfield as part of River To River 2020: Four Voices.

Known for her inventive works that transform cast-off materials into elegant expressions of place and identity, Jean Shin’s art and practice is ingrained with the idea of sustainability. Starting July 13, Shin’s installation, Floating MAiZE, and her vinyl artwork, The Last Straw, will be displayed in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Both pieces enable viewers to see themselves within the context of the artwork and consider sustainability in everyday practices as well as within the global ecosystem.

Floating MAiZE engages its audience in a conversation about plastic waste, dietary choices and environmental stewardship. The installation consists of recyclable green plastic soft drink bottles suspended above the grand staircase in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The elevated plastic cornfield will give viewers the experience of being transported to the center of this artificial landscape.

The Last Straw presents three macro and micro views of plastic waste, featuring different configurations and perspectives of colorful straws and reflective material. A poignant part of the installation includes scattered piles of straws in the distance, which map the flow of plastic debris from our coastlines into the gigantic concentration of garbage floating in the ocean. Both works encourage viewers to contemplate their own plastic consumption and question the ecological impact of consumer behavior in contributing to plastic pollution.

Floating MAiZE and The Last Straw are curated by Kendal Henry for Arts Brookfield. Henry is an artist and curator who has specialized in the field of public art for nearly thirty years, and the Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.

Resources for Action

Jean Shin’s projects The Last Straw and Floating MAiZE make tangible the enormous impact of single-use plastic on our environment. There are steps you can take right now to reduce household waste and support sustainable initiatives in New York. Your commitment ensures a brighter, cleaner future for our city and the planet.

Support Sure We Can Recycling Center

Sure We Can is a recycling center, community space, and sustainability hub that transforms consumer waste into valuable resources. Based in Brooklyn, Sure We Can is Jean Shin’s local resource for the recyclable bottles that make up Floating MAiZE. Contribute to the #60MillionCans community campaign.

Make a Reusable Mask out of Upcycled Fabric

Materials for the Arts is New York City's leading creative reuse center, which provides arts nonprofits, public schools and City agencies with access to free materials. While material donations are currently closed due to COVID-19, MFTA is offering online educational resources, including a no-sew mask tutorial with Executive Director Harriet Taub.

Learn How To Recycle E-Waste 

Lower East Side Ecology Center’s e-waste warehouse is in danger of closing. Write to your local council member and ask for their support of this important NYC resource, and in the meantime, learn how to reuse and recycle unwanted electronics with this how-to guide.

Understand The Litter Myth
How did American manufacturing companies shift the blame for waste onto individual citizens? Listen as the hosts of NPR's Throughline discuss the popularization of single-use plastics and the persuasive anti-litter campaigns that followed, as well as the deeper issues with consumer culture that require our attention now. 

Interview with Jean Shin

In this video interview, curator Kendal Henry talks to artist Jean Shin about Floating MAiZE and The Last Straw at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

Jean Shin_photobyDanielTerna
About Jean Shin

Jean Shin is recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community engagement. Her work has been widely exhibited in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions including at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and Storm King Art Center. In recognition of excellence, she has received numerous awards including two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, Pollock Krasner Grant, among others. Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in the United States, Shin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.