Meekyoung Shin

Mongin Art Center

An artwork carries so many layers of meaning that sometimes you have to sniff them out; a painting is no longer simply a decoration for the wall, nor a vase merely an ornament on a mantelpiece. In her recent works titled Translation—Vase, 2007, Meekyoung Shin replicates different classical vases from Qing-period China and Joseon-dynasty Korea, using an unexpected material. Showcased on two floors of Mongin Art Center, a newcomer to the popular Samchung gallery district, Shin’s eighteen vases, eleven glass vessels, and nineteen Buddha statuettes stood looking deceptively authentic and solemn. Slight departures from symmetry or uneven surfaces may give away the material, or perhaps the fresh yet artificial scent emanating from the objects does.

Since 1997, Shin has been refabricating antique statues and vases in household soap. This is a time-consuming and intricate task, just as executing

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2008 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.