Be My Guest: The Art of Interiors

Grafted Settings (Tree), 2015

In the sculpture Grafted Settings (Tree), Shin investigates the history and cultural connotations of flatware. The practical, utilitarian function of the utensil serves as a cross-cultural common ground facilitating the basic human need for sustenance. Yet, historically, flatware has become loaded with a divisive cultural significance, evoking associations with class, etiquette, and privilege. This complexity is similarly evident in her use of the tree as an object representing both utility and idealized beauty. In combination, the tree and flatware suggest a harmonious coexistence of culture and nature, while softly referencing their mutual fragility.

Domesticated Landscape (Bark), 2014

Shin’s vivid photographs capture these domestic materials transformed into various sections of the tree. Forks, spoons, and knives form delicate branches, the curves of annual rings, and textured layers of bark. These images speak to family rituals of the home and—like a table setting —suggest memories both personal and communal.