Meekyoung Shin was born in 1967, Cheongju, Korea, and received her BFA and MFA in Sculpture from the Seoul National University. She studied in the U.K in the mid-1990s, and had been living and working between the London and Seoul thereafter. A Cabinet of Curiosities will exhibit Meekyoung Shin’s representative works, Translation and Ghost series, and the Painting series produced in the recent two years, as well as the results of the Toilet Project. During this exhibition, the artist will carry out the Toilet Project in the public toilets of art museums and art districts in Shanghai.
Impacted by the blanks in cultural interpretation, Shin began to adopt “translation” as a creative clue and theme since 1997. She replicated classical western sculptures, oriental Buddhist statues and ceramics by using soap. Although the artworks highly resemble the original objects, but their materials are entirely different; the consumable quality of the soap contrasts with the “solidity and immortality of their facsimiles. The nearly real sculptures alarm us, just as the semantic imperfections created due to the unavoidable cultural differences, once the objects is removed from its original context, does it still embody its former values and meaning? Thereafter, in 2004, Shin initiated the Toilet Project and has carried them out until today, in which she places soap sculptures in public toilets to allow those visitors to use them, and then collect the used ones into her exhibition. The everyday item quickly transforms into “artworks” through such scenario, its value and aesthetic quality have thus changed.
Meekyoung Shin has held numerous solo exhibitions in institutions such as, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Taipei MoCA and the British Museum, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Sungkok Art Museum, and many more. In 2013, she has received the “2013 Korean Artist Prize”, and also has received the title of the Best Emerging Artist in the recently announced 2015 Prudential Eye Awards.