Jeena Shin

5 - 23 December 2014

Artist Jeena Shin is known for her distinctive sensibility and delicately nuanced paintings, geometric in style, with layers of ever-shifting, subtle variations of neutral tones.

Once again working in a sequential series, Shin’s refined and concentrated new paintings have a conceptual shift in focus, from the artist’s previous more static, geometrically balanced two-dimensional aesthetic. In the Motus series, the artist enters a more visually complex phase, investigating nuances of vision, with an emphasis on three dimensional formats. Working with two geometric forms, Shin’s compositional planar configurations create intersecting layers that explore the ambiguities of spatial properties, testing the threshold of human perception. The rhythm of her intentional reversal of figure and ground designs provides a relentless creative energy. It is a technique that animates the flat surface of the canvas, engulfing the viewer in a sensual experience. The monochromatic palettes and planes of foreground and background are purposely swapped or ruptured, creating an illusion of movement or chromatic vibration within the picture plane.

Shin says “I progressively built up two or three layers to work against the original layer, minutely building up paint thickness. By overlapping and breaking up the patterns of the articulated positive and negative space relationships, the swirling/tumbling shapes create a kind of centrifugal movement. This becomes a motif in itself, generating new forms and shapes that float in space.”

The elements vibrate because of their proximity and contrast to each other. This self-generated structure of optical variations that appears so chaotic and complex is a process organized by underlying rules and structures that provide a cohesive structure to the composition. However there is neither a completed idea nor an inevitable conclusion. It is an accumulative process, as shapes are embedded within shapes to suggest movement, an imaginative fiction that implies optical variations, resulting in a sense of ambiguity to the painting. The cumulative effect of this visual rupture slows down visual perception and navigation. It demands the viewer to carefully scan the canvas surface to visually comprehend the work.

“I have become more interested in exploring sensory perception,” says Shin “encouraging a more immersive engagement with the work by the viewer.”

Born in Seoul, Korea in 1973, Jeena Shin graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland in 1997 and received a Masters of Fine Arts from RMIT Melbourne in 2000. She lives and works in Auckland.

Since 2007, Shin has completed a number of major site-specific projects where she has painted directly on the walls of public galleries. Projects have included Wellington City Gallery, The Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, the entrance stairwell at Artspace, Auckland, and her largest work, a twenty three metre long commission at Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Her latest public art projects are architectural site-specific murals at the Herald Theatre foyer, the Aotea Centre and K’Road diner.

This exhibition has been generously supported by ED Contemporary Art Trust.