Life in Scraps: Studio Visit with Jean Shin
By Mimi Wong
Snowflakes glittered in the dim afternoon light, dusting the front windshield of the car Jean Shin had driven to pick me up in from the train station in New York’s Hudson River Valley region. In the passenger seat, Shin’s dog Trevor, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian from Puerto Rico, sat shivering on my lap, expressing his wariness with each turn on the winding country road. Upon reaching our destination, Shin pulled up to an imposing, mid-century three-story barn atop a sloped hill. Having lived and worked in nearby Brooklyn for the past 30 years, the Korean-born artist initially purchased the building in 2010 as additional storage for her artwork, eventually turning it into a second studio away from her Brooklyn one. She has also since renovated the small 1890s farmhouse that came with the property, inside which she served us hot tea and sliced pears. After we had sufficiently warmed ourselves, she advised putting on our coats again, warning that the barn-turned-studio had no indoor heating.