Lexington Av/63 St (F/Q)


Jean Shin
Mosaic by Jean Shin showing steel construction scaffolding.
“Elevated” (2017) by Jean Shin at Lexington Ave/63 St. Photo: Etienne Frossard

About the project

Jean Shin used archival photographs of the Second and Third Avenue elevated train to create compositions in ceramic tile, glass mosaic, and laminated glass. The imagery is manipulated and re-configured with each station level having its own focus, palette, and material. As one enters and descends the Third Avenue escalator, the view is filled with ceramic tile depicting construction beams and the cranes that dismantled the El in the 1940s. At the mezzanine, a mosaic reveals the sky where the train had previously been present, and people from that era of neighborhood transformation. The platform level features semi-transparent and reflective glass depicting vintage scenes of the neighborhood, enabling contemporary viewers to see themselves in the cityscape of the past.  

About the artist

Known for her large-scale installations and public sculptures, Jean Shin transforms accumulations of discarded objects into site-specific installations. By amassing large quantities of umbrellas, soda bottles, mobile phones, or pill caps in a labor-intensive and participatory process, Shin’s work interrogates our complex relationship between material consumption, collective identity and community engagement. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in the United States, Shin works in Brooklyn and Hudson Valley, New York. She is a tenured Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and holds an honorary doctorate from New York Academy of Art. Shin’s work has been widely exhibited and collected in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions.