Outlooks: Jean Shin

For the seventh iteration of Storm King Art Center’s Outlooks series, artist Jean Shin has chosen to respond to a conservation project on Storm King’s grounds: twenty-four declining maple trees are being replaced with black gum, or tupelo, trees that will better stand up to changes in local climate and ground conditions. This is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize Storm King’s Maple Allée, an important historic feature in the landscape.

Shin has salvaged the wood from many trees that were removed as part of this revitalization to create a monumental picnic table. Her ensuing work, Allée Gathering, offers a communal place to rest and come together in conversation, observation, and reflection. Timber cut from several tree trunks from the former Allée are connected in one continuous, horizontal tabletop lined with benches. The vertical bisections make visible the trees’ inner cores while also revealing hidden signs of their demise. Allée Gathering preserves the memory of the lost vista in a new form, bringing attention to tree health, as well as to the intensive labor required to maintain Storm King’s landscape.

While young black gum trees now line the Allée, the maple tree stumps will remain for the duration of the exhibition to mark this transition between the two changing landscapes. Shin has also worked with Storm King’s staff to tap remaining maple trees in various states of health for syrup to further archive the presence of this unique species on-site at Storm King. Through syrup tastings, public programs, and conversations at the communal table, Shin’s project offers multiple sensory experiences of nature, place, and time.

Outlooks, now in its seventh year, is an exhibition series that invites one emerging or mid-career artist to engage with Storm King’s landscape and history and create a new, site-specific work to be installed on-site for a single season.

4 May to 24 November 2019
Storm King Art Center
1 Museum Road
12553 New Windsor, USA
Storm King Art Center
Storm King