In projects that are invariably as fanciful as they are meticulously researched, the LA-based, Seoul-born artist TJ Shin links a microscopic focus on particularities of human or bacterial biology with broad questions of race, gender and sexuality. Microbial Speculation of Our Gut Feelings (2020), for instance, takes as its starting point the susceptibility of immigrant populations to disease, caused by the reaction of the gut’s microbial composition to foreign soil. For this, Shin turned a gallery at the New York non-profit Recess into an indoor garden and fermentation room, where they home-brewed lactic acid and held workshops on making water kimchi. The artist’s process is highly collaborative – for Microbial Speculation, Shin worked with the Korean grassroots farming group JADAM and the queer culinary collective Spiral Theory Test Kitchen. A solo exhibition at the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art is forthcoming in 2023. Shin has also exhibited at the Queens Museum (2020) and the Doosan Gallery, New York.
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