Silk thread, cotton, polyester thread on round form
11.4 x 11.4 x 11.4 cm
The experience of working with kindred minds from China and the United States reminds me of the time-proven adage: the sum is always greater than the parts. Intertwined transforms the traditional two-dimensional shape of yin and yang into a three-dimensional object, which enables viewers to see the continuous dynamics more fully. It reflects binary relationships: East vs. West, female vs. male, art vs. craft, yin vs. yang, sacred vs. secular, abstract vs. concrete, idea vs. form, chaos vs. order, etc. All those paradoxes inhabit the same space, just as matter and spirit co-exist in me. The process of “random stitch” itself becomes an integral part of the final result. One can see the process through the complex interwoven and intricately entangled threads covering the work.
My Soul Magnifies the Lord
Mixed media on mulberry paper
16.5 x 182 cm flat
My Soul Magnifies the Lord is inspired by Mary’s Song in Scripture (Luke 1:46-55). The whole work is a metaphor for the female body from which new life emerges, suggesting stillness and waiting in the presence of the Creator. The voluminous shrouding contour of the skirt is intended to evoke the fertile, empowered female body found in her experience of her pro/creative power. The work is composed of 24 panels each depicting a pregnant woman. The trip to China planted a seed—a dream—in me: pregnancy, or process, or waiting on God in itself is a blessing.
Cotton and monofilament
457 x 121 x 121 cm
My Christianity has shaped concepts and themes in my work. Art and spirituality serve similar functions in my life. Art uses visual elements to explore and communicate truth; spirituality is just another mode of my exploration and communication of truth. They both help me understand life and this world. My relationship to my work is more as a collaborator than a creator. This conception echoes the Eastern understanding of art and artists. Eastern philosophy, in contrast to Western philosophy, conceived the self-effacement and non-mindedness of an artist as the primary step to be taken before Nature could truly be freely at work. By working with the nature of the material, the work maintains integrity. Art then becomes the product of a dialogue with Nature, rather than the process of subduing it.
About the Artist
Shin-hee Chin is a fiber/mixed-media artist and professor in the Visual Art Department at Tabor College. Chin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Washington D.C., Tokyo, Alsace-Lorraine, Geneva, Tainan, and Seoul. She has taught drawing, painting, color theory, and mixed media, and was elected as Distinguished Faculty in 2008. Influenced by feminist traditions, Christian spirituality, and Eastern philosophy, Chin has created a coherent narrative addressing complex issues of the female body, cultural identity, cultural hybridity, and a sense of belonging.